archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Design a Better Boston

Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-24-2017, 08:54 PM   #41
FitchburgLine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 278
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by TallIsGood View Post
Yes, the principle of a representative republic is more important than a few potholes.
When did the US cease to be a representative republic by this absurd standard? (Hint: it's not 2013)
FitchburgLine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2017, 09:45 PM   #42
DominusNovus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 639
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin7 View Post
OK, so, just to be clear: The argument here is that you think it makes more sense to have the legislature revisit and vote on this annually (along with all the political fun this entails) rather than have the tax simply keep pace with the actual value of money? Is that correct? We're all on the same page?

Yes. See, the 'political fun' that the process entails is the entire point of the system: if elected leaders do things that voters don't like, they get punished. The elected leaders know this, and the voters know it, too. Its a wonderful check and balance that doesn't need any long dissertations on the nature of a bicameral system or federalism or super-majorities or filibusters or anything like that.

In short, the tedium of having to jump through hoops in order to get stuff done is a feature, not a bug.
__________________
The Goal of Mass Transit should be to get you from Bed to Boss to Bar and back again.
DominusNovus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2017, 09:46 PM   #43
DominusNovus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 639
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDowntown View Post
Voters often do stupid things.
The battlecry of the self-perpetuatingly electorally disadvantaged.
__________________
The Goal of Mass Transit should be to get you from Bed to Boss to Bar and back again.
DominusNovus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 08:33 AM   #44
BussesAin'tTrains
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Union Sq, Somerville
Posts: 3,415
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by TallIsGood View Post
Yes, the principle of a representative republic is more important than a few potholes.
It's not about the principle of ensuring that the people's representatives have to vote on tax increases. I'd buy that, if that's what chained-CPI actually was. It's not. It's a maintenance of tax levels to adjust to inflation so that taxes stay constant. Not chaining taxes to inflation means that any year where there's inflation, there's a relative tax cut, and any year there's deflation there's a relative tax hike. Nothing principled about that.

On another note, if you're so ideological about representative republics you ought to be against voter referenda altogether. Ballot initiatives create an awful incentive in a representative democracy for the legislature to abrogate their legislative responsibilities on difficult issues by punting to the voters. It incentivizes brinksmanship by political parties and stakeholders to end-run around the legislative process if they believe their position on an issue is more politically palatable with the voters than with their elected representatives. It also functionally helps incumbent politicians avoid taking difficult votes that might get them booted out of office (which has a place of high value in a representative democracy) because they've avoided responsibility for the decisionmaking process.

Last edited by BussesAin'tTrains; 07-25-2017 at 08:46 AM.
BussesAin'tTrains is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 08:35 AM   #45
BussesAin'tTrains
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Union Sq, Somerville
Posts: 3,415
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
The battlecry of the self-perpetuatingly electorally disadvantaged.
Not really, it's a demonstrable fact that voters often vote for counter-productive or downright contradictory policies. Doesn't matter if you're on the outs or not. I said the same thing when my political preferences were in power as I do now.
BussesAin'tTrains is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 09:52 AM   #46
Shepard
Senior Member
 
Shepard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,343
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Some alternatives to congestion charging, without going back to the gas tax discussion:

- Dynamic market-rate street meter parking 24/7
- Commercial property "parking space excise tax" based on distance to transit - the more parking spots you maintain AND the closer to rapid transit you are, the higher an excise tax you pay
- Targeted tolls for targeted improvements - for example, don't necessarily toll 93 into the city but DO toll the Greenway - and use proceeds to fund a surface-level trolley.
Shepard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 09:59 AM   #47
bakgwailo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 643
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
Some alternatives to congestion charging, without going back to the gas tax discussion:

- Dynamic market-rate street meter parking 24/7
Speaking of which, has anyone heard of how dynamic metering has worked out where it has been deployed? Haven't heard or seen any data really on it.
bakgwailo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 05:22 PM   #48
DominusNovus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 639
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
Some alternatives to congestion charging, without going back to the gas tax discussion:

- Dynamic market-rate street meter parking 24/7
- Commercial property "parking space excise tax" based on distance to transit - the more parking spots you maintain AND the closer to rapid transit you are, the higher an excise tax you pay
- Targeted tolls for targeted improvements - for example, don't necessarily toll 93 into the city but DO toll the Greenway - and use proceeds to fund a surface-level trolley.
I like the first two ideas (though, I think there should just be higher meter rates). I do think 93 should be tolled first, though.
__________________
The Goal of Mass Transit should be to get you from Bed to Boss to Bar and back again.
DominusNovus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2017, 07:32 AM   #49
Justin7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,396
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
Yes. See, the 'political fun' that the process entails is the entire point of the system: if elected leaders do things that voters don't like, they get punished. The elected leaders know this, and the voters know it, too. Its a wonderful check and balance that doesn't need any long dissertations on the nature of a bicameral system or federalism or super-majorities or filibusters or anything like that.

In short, the tedium of having to jump through hoops in order to get stuff done is a feature, not a bug.
Interesting. Most people are aware of legislative gridlock and representatives who are exponentially more concerned with reelection than with governing, but it is rare to find someone who is in favor of such a mess.

Before backing away from this ridiculous discussion I'm going to reiterate that indexing a tax to inflation is not a tax increase in any real terms. Thankfully most of our other taxes are not static values. Our nation would have ceased to exist years ago.
__________________
"You cannot take in a whole Boston street with a single glance of the eye and then lose your interest because you have thus taken the edge off future discovery; on the contrary, every step reveals some portion of a building which you could not see before, some change in your vista, and some suggestion of pleasant variety yet to come, which not only keeps your interest alive but heightens it and persuades you to go on."
Justin7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 06:19 AM   #50
BKNA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 148
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Would have been nice if the legislature simply voted for a gas tax increase after the inflation measure was shot down, but they are a bit chicken shit so there is some truth to the argument that tying it to inflation was the easy way out for them.

In either case, I can't believe there has been this long discussion on gas tax and nobody has made the simple statement that a gas tax is antiquated and won't be able to fund transportation for much longer as we move to more and more effecient/electric vehicles. So why are we/they even worrying about future gas taxes?
VMT tax is the only way forward.
BKNA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 12:49 PM   #51
tangent
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,403
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by TallIsGood View Post
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.
except gas prices fluctuate wildly, so you can't rely on a percentage. Setting it to automatically rise with inflation solved the issue of the gas tax not keeping up with inflation.

I recall the main argument against the gas tax being pegged to inflation was that it takes away the right of future legislatures to set the rate... but the same logic applies to all taxes. I would agree with all taxes expiring every two years and having to be renewed. Take away the "raising/cutting" taxes false relativism and just make the legislature take responsibility for what-is.
tangent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 07:27 PM   #52
tangent
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,403
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Just mentioned this the other day in another thread... with the shift to affordable and practical all electric cars along with autonomous safety features like collision avoidance I could very much see the benefit of making downtown electric only and requiring some minimum of autonomous collision avoidance system on passenger cars and maybe even trucks.

I would suggest around a ten year time frame. Maybe 12.

Air polluting cars and cars that rely on fault intolerant human drivers to avoid hitting things should be a thing of the past.
tangent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 08:09 PM   #53
DominusNovus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 639
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by BKNA View Post
Would have been nice if the legislature simply voted for a gas tax increase after the inflation measure was shot down, but they are a bit chicken shit so there is some truth to the argument that tying it to inflation was the easy way out for them.

In either case, I can't believe there has been this long discussion on gas tax and nobody has made the simple statement that a gas tax is antiquated and won't be able to fund transportation for much longer as we move to more and more effecient/electric vehicles. So why are we/they even worrying about future gas taxes?
VMT tax is the only way forward.
If you think people had a problem with indexing it to inflation, they'll lose their shit over a mileage tax.
__________________
The Goal of Mass Transit should be to get you from Bed to Boss to Bar and back again.
DominusNovus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 10:37 PM   #54
bakgwailo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 643
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Something will have to be done as existing cars get more efficient/better gas mileage in the short term (thus making the collection of the gas tax even less in total value regardless of inflation), and the rise of electric/alternative fuel vehicles in the longer term phase it out all together.
bakgwailo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 08:30 AM   #55
tangent
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,403
Re: Boston Congestion Zone Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
If you think people had a problem with indexing it to inflation, they'll lose their shit over a mileage tax.
What I object to on the mileage tax is the version with unnecessary GPS tracking of everyone to figure it all out.

It is an unnecessary overreach when we already check odometers every year at the annual inspection. We could pay a mileage tax at that point and it could just be billed through the income tax or spread out over monthly payments.
tangent is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Congestion toll in Boston? statler Transit and Infrastructure 149 03-01-2015 04:06 PM
Boston Combat Zone 1969-1978 - photo exhibition Ron Newman Boston Architecture/Urbanism Related Events 19 02-17-2010 08:10 PM
Ann/North Street, Boston's original Combat Zone czsz Boston Architecture & Urbanism 3 09-27-2009 12:00 AM
CURING CONGESTION: Patrick Transit and Infrastructure 1 04-09-2007 09:29 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.