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Old 09-24-2018, 02:24 PM   #61
DominusNovus
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Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

What do people think of this indirect proposal: Taxes levied on parking spaces (along with hiking up metered charges) - particularly open lots. It could actually do double duty as an indirect congestion charge: first, if the parking lots/garages have to raise their rates, it will act as a deterrent to driving in the city. Second, this tax increases the cost of operating a parking garage/lot, which makes that business model less economical, even after the costs have been lsses onto the customers. Therefore, there will be a non-zero number of property owners that decide they could get more value out of redeveloping their parking steucture or lot into something else.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:30 AM   #62
cadetcarl
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Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Seems fine, as long as the proceeds were to fund transit. Whether it's always true or not (it's not), the people who contribute the most to congestion say "I wouldn't drive if the T didn't suck." We need a way to induce ridership commensurate to the number of cars taken out because they don't want to pay for parking anymore.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:40 AM   #63
DominusNovus
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Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

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Seems fine, as long as the proceeds were to fund transit. Whether it's always true or not (it's not), the people who contribute the most to congestion say "I wouldn't drive if the T didn't suck." We need a way to induce ridership commensurate to the number of cars taken out because they don't want to pay for parking anymore.
Agreed. I have zero faith in Beacon Hillís ability to focus its priorities, though.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:53 AM   #64
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Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Paternalistic tax policy - taxes or fees on behaviors you want to discourage and (possibly) subsidizing behaviors you want to encourage - works really well because price incentives work really well. This often conflicts with progressive taxation because it tends to take the form of use-taxes like the gas tax or congestion tolling that don't consider income.

Reconciling these two results in what tangent described over in the General MBTA thread - high usage fees (like subway fare) which are reimbursed only to the poor. That is usually complicated and expensive to implement.

This is where a universal basic income can be very effective because it is so cheap and easy to implement. (Before anyone blows this up for being un-American and unrealistic, the Earned Income Tax Credit is a negative income tax and not all that different from a universal income. EITC can easily be replicated in state income taxes.). Policy makers can feel free to raise fees and use-taxes as long as the universal income also increases to compensate for the burden on the poor. Anyone, rich or poor, can save money by changing behavior to avoid the fees and we get the desired behavioral outcome. A progressive income tax on top of this rounds out the system.
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:37 PM   #65
odurandina
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Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

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Originally Posted by stefalarchitect View Post
I'm cringing at the number of lanes visible in the headline picture..
What you've never been on the 5 north where it meets the 405 heading up to Magic Mountain and the Grapevine?

or any of 50 other interchanges in the LA/OC/Sun Diego metro?
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:57 PM   #66
Arlington
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Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

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Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
What do people think of this indirect proposal: Taxes levied on parking spaces (along with hiking up metered charges) - particularly open lots. It could actually do double duty as an indirect congestion charge
1) We already have fairly high parking rates ($20/2hrs), but, yes, NYC is $33/2hrs, so there's space to go higher, but all that does is get us the Manhattan problem:

2) Uber is the perfect technology for congesting the core while avoiding parking charges that you/we would hope would fix things. It is entirely predictable that if we hike parking charges in the CBD, all that'll really happen is that people will leave their personal car at home and switch to Uber. This already happened in NYC Itís Settled: Uber Is Making NYC Gridlock Worse.

If we look, it has probably already happened in Boston: I already personally know at least 3 daily commuters in Arlington/Medford who find that 2x$25 Uber trips is cheap compared to $40 daily parking (Two guys Uber commute Arlington-to-Kendall Sq each morning and guy* Ubers Medford-to-Seaport). It's gotta be that this is already happening from Belmont, Brookline, and Greater Roslindale, and that higher parking charges would just accelerate it to Melrose, Newton, and Milton.

So every trip you thought you'd discouraged with parking charges, if it switched to Uber imposes twice as many VMT on the core than an SOV commute would (as the Uber itself shuttles in and out for each commuter instead of just the normal "AM inbound, PM outbound" that an SOV driver makes.**

3) The problem with only taxing "official spots" is that the City's residential permits are still free, and it therefore makes cheating more attractive: lying on where a car is domiciled and who is actually a legit "visitor". If we're doing a cost-of-parking reform, we'd need a system that better prices residential permits in places like South End, Beacon Hill and Back Bay--and Cambridge from Harvard to Kendall *** That's proven politically hard.

4) And Autonomous cars are coming that will out-Uber the Ubers at generating VMTs in the core precisely as a way of avoiding your parking charge, either by "circling the block" or being hired out or being sent back home.

Conclusion: we need a real congestion charge--and, incidentally, Uber is all for it (since their drivers will amortize it across more trips)



*And they are guys: Moms who have drop-kid-at-daycare duty are still in the "family car" with its carseats, while carefree Dads are taking the Uber.

**I'm guilty of this. Given sucky transit options from Medford to the BCEC, and expensive parking in the Seaport, I took a Lyft to a recent convention there, where I've never in the 18 years in Arlington/Medford "been driven" to anyplace but Logan and South Station. Until the trip itself is made expensive, the cost of parking just makes Uber/Lyft more attractive.

***I'm guilty of this too. Every time a friend loaned me his Cambridge parking pass was a $20 win for me, even if I could only use it on limited days. I eventually switched to employer-paid parking (taking the "customer only" spot on days we knew we weren't having visitors), but am happy to have switched entirely to bike commuting by 2015.
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Last edited by Arlington; 09-26-2018 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:27 PM   #67
DominusNovus
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Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

I so want to see the city stop giving free resident parking. If you already live in the city, you almost certainly donít need parking.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:11 PM   #68
Arlington
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Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

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Then change the gas tax to x%, not x cents per gallon. Solves your inflation issue and solves the issue that legislators actually vote to increase the tax.
But it originally was tied to the idea of being a road charge, for which an excise tax (and indexing to the price of construction) would be the right way to pay for roads.

Ö
Meanwhile, Uber pledges as (paltry but symbolic) $10m to trying to fix the congestion that it has created. On a certain level they are very right: more bikes and less curb parking will both be good for congestion. And they're consistent in favoring a congestion charge itself.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/n...ongestion.html
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