Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why Motorists Should NOT Pay for Crash Investigations

This Streetsblog article starts out well. Calling out the autosprawl externalities.
Streetsblog New York City: "The same problem applies to private motoring, the costs of which are, in many cases, spread across non-drivers or society at large. The curb lane in front of my home provides free storage for my car-owning neighbors’ vehicles. A portion of my taxes go to maintaining highways I rarely use, caring for uninsured crash victims and asthma patients in city hospitals, bailing out the auto industry because it’s too big to fail, and fighting wars to keep oil cheap."
But then advocates pricing one of those externalities, the costs of collision administration. Adding fees likes this, road-pricing (tolls), and congestion pricing are not good ideas.

We need to take responsibility for our society as a whole, not create more bureaucracy trying, like hypocritical libertarians, to attach fees everywhere in until everything is "fair." Let's face it we have autosprawl. It's horribly expensive and wasteful. We should change it at the root cause, not apply bureaucratic band-aids.

Make public transit fare-free. Carbon dumping, collision costs, and oil wars have been free for autosprawl profiteers for many years. Free transit will shove the rudder in the right direction.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

We should certainly make transit free but that alone will not make everyone use it. You need a stick -- something to really disincentivize driving -- which is where road pricing schemes come in.

I'm sensitive to economic equity arguments against pricing of street space but we really need an alternative. So far I don't see one aside from just banning cars (which I would support if it were practical to implement).

fpteditors said...

With all due respect, what you believe about the economics of free transit is just not true. Read about the experience in Guangzhou. They had to cancel free transit during the Asia games because it was too popular.