Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Linkage

This is what happens when you allow incessant road building, siphoning public monies, parking standards, tax breaks for oil, gas, car companies, and Euclidean zoning to continue if for no other reason than because that is they it's been since we've known it. Then, your private money begins getting siphoned away, with little choice in the matter. You can't move closer to where you work because zoning prevents enough density to bring prices towards affordable levels to those that might wish to do so. So you have to move further and further out. So far that it can cost upwards of half your monthly take home pay, just to get to work. This is a tax. It is a hidden tax just to participate in the local economy. And by doing so, the majority of that money for car ownership, maintenance, gas, and insurance leaves the local economy. And we wonder why all of our cities are slowly but surely going bankrupt. If not yet financially, surely intellectually.
All told, Americans spend $489 billion annually on gasoline. Every 25-cent increase in the price of gas costs households $90 million per day. That’s hitting a lot of Americans very hard, especially right now as real wages stagnate and unemployment levels remain high.
And no, it is not about building more roads to reduce traffic so traffic flow and therefore the engine becomes more efficient. It is not only about building/buying more efficient cars because the amount of paving, parking, and time lost to traffic and commuting is also at issue. It is about reducing demand. Although demand implies that this is something we want, which it isn't. People want choice. The current road/city building is not about choice nor freedom as American Dream Coalition and other crooked hacks will have you believe. Choice is mode of transportation and possible routing because there are a number of options and destinations within reasonable distances.

It is about reducing our mandated need for spending our entire lives in the car where everyone else on the road diminishes the "ideal" road condition, where everyone else on the road is the enemy. Not only does it harm the economy, but it can't be good socially either. That's one of the big reasons I gave up my car. I was tired of getting out of it angry every day.