Sierra Club: Against regressive taxes, except when they’re for them.

Case in point:

Washington has the MOST regressive tax structure in the entire United States mostly because of its high sales taxes. Now, politicians want to punish poor people even more with a dramatic hike in the sales tax to build climate changing highways.

Or this:

The simple fact is that highways as the basis of a transportation system are inherently unfair to working people, burdening them with the high costs of car ownership, maintenance, insurance, parking and gas prices.

Then why are they FOR this?

We think it’s time to look at congestion pricing. In the business world, we deal with supply and demand issues daily, and the market sends us pricing signals to lead us to the most efficient use of resources. In our transportation system, there is clearly more demand for highway lanes than there is supply at the current price — free.

The local Sierra Club is using an “populist, anti-tax” message to attack the Roads and Transit package while at the same time pushing a tolling scheme which will disproportionally affect working people — just for driving to work!

They are pushing for congestion pricing everywhere (“Lexus lanes”!) and have the gall to call freeways discriminatory and the sales tax regressive? Tolls and a higher gas tax (which they also support) are the most regressive forms of taxation out there. With transportation, you don’t have a choice about how much you pay. People have to get to work!

It’s disingenuous at best, and weaselly bullshit at worst. Then again, what can you expect from Kemper’s favorite environmental group?

Comments

  1. 1

    Piper Scott spews:

    You guys can’t win for losing! Now you’re turning on each other, and many of you are taking what appear to be…uhm…right-wing positions on issues.

    My, oh my! Too bad us wingnuts didn’t have the use of those positions copyrighted…we could make a fortune of the royalties you all would pay!

    The Piper

  2. 2

    SeattleJew spews:

    Will

    I do not see why tolls are “regressive.” They penalize folks who travel long distances to work and reward those who live close to work. Why would you want to subsize folks building homes in Woodenville?

    By your logic we should subsidize the ferry for folks who live in Vashon or maybe give fuel coupons to people living on Mercer Island?

    Back to RTID, I believe you are in support and I am really confused. Two questions:

    Of the total what part is directly spent on Seattle projects?

    Of the total what part is paid by Seattle taxes?

    I support regional rail, the anti 1 website claims that >80% of this will go to regional rail if true that would help get my vote for RTID.

  3. 3

    michael spews:

    Will, I wish the Sierra Club had the kind of power and clout that you seem to think it has.

  4. 4

    here_we_go_again spews:

    Aren’t they the ones who also push for limiting access to the National Parks, to try to keep them uncrowded for the elites’ use?

    The Sierra Club’s position is pretty clear: poor people should ride the bus to work while rich people pay to travel on an uncrowded highway. Since I drive a Mercedes, I have no problem with this, but it does seem out-of-whack for a left wing organization to espouse such a thing…

  5. 5

    MichaelW spews:

    Yeah, congestion pricing is horrible for the poor. That’s why it was proposed by Ron Sims. He’s so in favor of regressive taxes — his whole campaign for governor was about saving the sales tax and b&o tax.

    What? Sims wanted to replace both taxes with an income tax? Could it be that congestion pricing isn’t regressive? Way to do your homework Will.

  6. 6

    chadt spews:

    God, I’m getting tired of this “if you’re not pro-rtid and addicted to bikes, you’re fucking scum” commentary day after day. You’re taking on the characteristics of some of our favorite trolls, here, Will…Like Pooper Scott St Clair.

    BTW, Pooper, your smug, self-satisfied condescension is as attractive as your right-wing flatulence,(which you regard as civilized discourse). Your love of bagpipes, whining bags of air, with constant drones, and a chanter that can’t articulate without embellishments and grace-notes,and which wheezes to an ignominious and uncertain conclusion when the player runs out of patience, pretty much mirrors your commentary, however brilliant it sounds to you.

    The saving grace here is that one can imagine you as a bagpipe in disarray whilst being screwed by an octopus.

  7. 7

    michael spews:

    Will, I think there’s a transportation committee meeting tomorrow night. You should see about attending as it might clear up a few of your miss-conceptions about the SC.

  8. 8

    rtidhurtsthepoor spews:

    Will

    Are you really arguing that sales taxes are the progressive solution? The working poor, and the working not so poor often use transit because it is cheaper, because they can’t afford to pay for parking, or because they can’t even afford a car. So people who don’t drive should pay sales taxes to support those that do? Read Ron Sims report on congestion pricing and explain to us all why it is a bad idea to use congestion pricing to keep our roads moving, reduce global warming pollution, pay for all maintenance needs, and build ST2 and more, all without regressive taxes or new highways lanes.
    http://www.crosscut.com/transportation/4016/; http://www.crosscut.com/files/tolling-report.pdf

    Let’s not forget, the current plan by the politicians is first to use regressive taxes to build climate changing highways we cannot afford to maintain, then to put in tolls to pay for the rest of the bill. We should go straight to the solution that makes sense — congestion pricing — instead of doing both. That is fair to poor people, and the rest of us, instead of spending billions on pork barrel road projects financed by regressive taxes.

  9. 9

    michael spews:

    Will, you might want to check with the friendly folks at sightlinedotorg about this. I think they found that wealthy people drove a whole lot more than poor folks.

    A yes on RTID and the sales taxes it would jack up could be seen as the rest of us paying for highways for the rich folks.

  10. 10

    Piper Scott spews:

    @6…Chadt…

    Careful…you’ve just offended every piper in the world, not just me. Since pipers are a notoriously…emphatic…lot when it comes to defending what is an admittedly arcane art form, you’d best watch out.

    I’ll bet (as opposed to Lee’s, “No doubt…”) right now there’s some piobreachd player in Alberta who read your post and is furious to the point of making miserable your life the goal of his. Being Canadian and a piobreachd player, he might otherwise have agreed with you on every issue in life, but insult his pipe and piping generally and you earn his undying enmity.

    The tone and tenor of your treacle, though, leads me to ask…Did you at one time take lessons only to not be able to get off the practice chanter?

    Just checking…

    The Piper

  11. 11

    Eeeek! A Terrorist! spews:

    SeattleJew got it right.

    Tolls are not regressive. Tolls vary according to behavior that is not particularly constrained by income.

    Tolls weigh heavier upon those who:

    commute longer distances;

    commute more frequently;

    reject public mass transit;
    drive alone.

    Unlike a sales tax, any of these levying factors can be avoided regardless of income or employment status.

    Tolling (congestion pricing) seems to be an issue that teases out the underlying mentality of most people. As a way of paying for transportation infrastructure it makes enormous sense. And yet it is vehemently opposed by all sides here in the “freewheeling” west. What it reveals is that most of the “progressive” support for mass transit in a city like Seattle is borne along by an irrational expectation that “someone else” will ride. Leaving the rest of us to joyfully cruise empty freeways. Sure.

  12. 12

    chadt spews:

    Pooper says:

    “I’ll bet (as opposed to Lee’s, “No doubt…”) right now there’s some piobreachd player in Alberta who read your post and is furious to the point of making miserable your life the goal of his. Being Canadian and a piobreachd player, he might otherwise have agreed with you on every issue in life, but insult his pipe and piping generally and you earn his undying enmity.”

    Well, if he’s as devoid of substance as you, I scarcely have any worries, have I? Besides, I’m from Moosejaw.

    As to your question about lessons, I was a music major – I played real musical instruments.

  13. 13

    spews:

    Piper Scott @ 1,

    “You guys can’t win for losing! Now you’re turning on each other, and many of you are taking what appear to be…uhm…right-wing positions on issues.”

    I know this must be very difficult for you to understand, but unlike you wingnuts, liberals don’t maintain a strong “top-down” approach to positions and messaging. It is not uncommon for even the posters on this blog to disagree on important issues. If you are looking for a unified liberal, progressive, or Democratic position, you’ll have to settle for the largely fictional stereotypes available at places like Little Green Wingnuts.

    “My, oh my! Too bad us wingnuts didn’t have the use of those positions copyrighted…we could make a fortune of the royalties you all would pay!”

    I think it is safe to say that you are not an intellectual property lawyer. (And, um, not much of an intellectual, for that matter.)

  14. 14

    olaf smeg spews:

    “Tolls and a higher gas tax (which they also support) are the most regressive forms of taxation out there.”

    No way, Jose. Sales taxes are much more regressive. Tolls and gas taxes are very progressive: USER PAYS. Use the transportation system more, pay more. Use the key elements of the road system at peak times (like crossing a floating bridge at rush hour), pay more.

    Those are people with very good jobs, for the most part. They can afford to pay for what they use – easily. Why should a struggling elderly person on a fixed income be taxed on her toothpaste, nightgown, and reading light so a fat-assed exurb-dwelling 29-year old can ride a train cheaply to his job at Amazon, or to subsidize some programmer at MSFT driving his beamer over the new bridge from his Belltown condo to Redmond?

    Variable priced congestion tolling is extremely progressive: it raises revenue from those who can afford it and it decreases the externalization of social costs that SOV users impose on the rest of us. Sales taxes hit those who can least afford them the hardest, IRRESPECTIVE of whether or not they even are using the roads, let alone whether they are using those roads in a way that increases congestion at the peak times.

    Think, boy, think!

  15. 16

    proud leftist spews:

    Will,
    Reasonable people can differ concerning RTID. Accordingly, a broadside against the Sierra Club seems a bit unfair. Even if the Sierra Club is misguided on this issue, the balance of good that the Sierra Club does far outweighs one mistake.

  16. 17

    Commentator spews:

    The way the boundaries are drawn for the area that gets the higher sales tax, there will probably be some people who evade them by just shopping outside of the area with the higher taxes. If you’re in Everett, just drive to Marysville to buy your new car. If you’re in Kent, just go to Covington. etc.

    The more you use, the more you pay, is a good idea. It is much better than “the more I buy the more I subsidize someone’s long distance trip.”

  17. 18

    K-Full spews:

    Will,

    I note that you are all for tolls on the 520 and I-90 bridges, as long as they also include transit access. This very approach is what the Sierra Club advocates: Toll drivers to pay for highways but reserve sales tax for services that everyone (not just those who own cars) can use — such as transit. You seemed to grasp the simple fairness of this approach in the context of the bridge discussions. What happened? Now you’re willing to enlist “working people” as pawns in your campaign for a scheme that taxes them even if they don’t use highways. I think it’s you, not the Sierra Club, that’s lost the grip on your values.

  18. 19

    Pooper Scott and his bon Mots spews:

    My Dear Chadt: As I slouch in my black leather Barcalounger (in high Buckleyesque style), flashing a wicked and supercilious grin toward the monitor, my tongue darting mischievously toward the corner of my mouth, and my eyes flashing withering intellectual supercilious superiority toward “your kind”, I can only reflect that a simple litote is more than likely far over your limited ability to understand.

    Chadt, my dear fellow, I can only communicate in the most civilised figures of speech wherein an affirmative is expressed by the negation of the opposite.

    I hope that is clear and succinct…

    The Pooper

  19. 21

    michael spews:

    It seems the Cascade Bicycle Club and Conservation North West have joined up with The Sierra Club calling for a no vote on RTID.

    But hey, the yes folks have Jane Hague on there side!

  20. 24

    spyder spews:

    Ignore the obduracy of certain trolls, please.

    Sadly, i think the issue will be resolved in ways that will negatively impact those that can afford it the least. Given the incapacity of most citizens to acknowledge the adverse problems created by the global climate crises, most will be forced by governmental action to suffer under some regime of taxation/ toll use/ etc. to use and access roadways and transportation routes.

    And in case you just never noticed it (almost shocking actually), the Sierra Club has been selling out its progressive and liberal base for nearly 30 years now. It is hardly taken seriously anymore by most of those aligned in real issues of conservation and environmental protections. I suppose, however, if i was asked my preference, i would choose to support a quasi-liberal elite to a quasi-conservative elite any day.

  21. 26

    BikeNut spews:

    So, first the Sierra Club decides it’s against light rail, and now they decided they’re against the portion of the RTID which is paying for hundreds of millions in bus service which is part of construction mitigation?

    “I do not see why tolls are “regressive.” They penalize folks who travel long distances to work and reward those who live close to work.”

    Seattle Jew: your Seattle-centric view of the world prevents you from realizing it’s the middle class and working poor who are being FORCED to drive further because of high home prices in the places “where the jobs are”.

    Get it?

  22. 27

    randy spews:

    great post Will

    It is nice that you don’t screen your commenters either like they are doing now at the lame Sierra/700 Club site http://www.nortid.org

    These guys weren’t made for politics, just making nice calendars.

  23. 28

    bob spews:

    The Sierra/700 Club green-xstremists wants the working poor to pay tolls on their daily commute to get from affordable housing in Auburn to job centers in Seattle so that we can build Mike OBrien a pretty little street car on Phinney Ridge.

  24. 29

    BikeNut spews:

    “Reasonable people can differ concerning RTID. Accordingly, a broadside against the Sierra Club seems a bit unfair. Even if the Sierra Club is misguided on this issue, the balance of good that the Sierra Club does far outweighs one mistake.”

    proud leftist:

    You would have a point if Sierra Club stuck to its values as they mounted their destructive campaign against the light rail and regional roads measure.

    Instead, they have decided to join more than just arms with Kemper Freeman and the transit-hating right – first, we find out Sierra Club aren’t big light rail fans at all. Second, they use typical Rovian propaganda tactics to try and fool progressives into thinking the roads portion of the plan “could be greener”; now, Sierra has adopted the right’s anti-tax message as well.

    As suc hI think Will is justified in calling them out. I also believe Sierra Club took these alarmist tactics to compensate for their poor 11th hour foray into this fight. If they had actually participated in the debates in Olympia years ago, and got involved in the RTID process BEFORE the Cross-Base Highway issue raised their attention, I seriously doubt Sierra would have had to engage in such over-the-top rhetoric and tactics.

    Sad thing is, by watering down their valuable message about global warming with critiques of light rail and taxes, the Sierra Club does itself and its membership a serious disservice.

    The anti-transit right has plenty of money and plenty of friends in Olympia to achieve those goals. They don’t need Sierra Club’s help.

  25. 30

    TrueProgressive spews:

    Congestion pricing isn’t the issue here. We aren’t being asked to vote on congestion pricing this November- we’re being asked to vote on RTID. If you ask me, HOW you’re paying for something is as important as WHAT you’re paying for.

    I think olaf smeg was right on in post 14 when he said: “Why should a struggling elderly person on a fixed income be taxed on her toothpaste, nightgown, and reading light… to subsidize some programmer at MSFT driving his beamer over the new bridge from his Belltown condo to Redmond?”

    Regardless of whether or not you support the projects RTID will fund, lets be honest about how they’ll be funded- with and increase in sales tax (which IS the most regressive kind of tax). I believe that tax structures should be FAIR, so I’ll be voting NO or RTID- even though I, like so many others, like the light rail component of RTID.

    As for Congestion pricing, that will come up as an issue soon enough (and regardless of whether RTID passes).

  26. 31

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Come’on guys….you’re supposed to be, like, LEFTISTS.

    Affordable housing: Ever hear of raising wages or stopping the incessant GOP drive to redistribute wealth and income upward? Let’s face it, higher density housing is gonna’ happen one way or the other. Use your fucking noggins.

    Tolls: Better than sales tax increases. WHAT THIS STATE NEEDS IS A PROGRESSIVE INCOME TAX.

    Sierra Club: Heart’s in the right place, perhaps wrong on this issue. Opinions vary.

    National Parks: It is the GOP that seeks to ration use of national resources via the price mechanism. End of story.

    The Left eating it’s own: Par for the course. Always been that way (cf. Jacobins, Bolsheviks)…always will. A cross we shall have to bear.

    Piper: The wingnuts eat their own, too. See, for example, the lunacy and infighting re ‘illegal’ immigration. So wipe that smug smile off your face.

    That is all for now from Left Central.

  27. 32

    Piper Scott spews:

    @19…Whoever you are…

    Somebody’s mommy got him a thesarus and the collected works of P.G. Wodehouse, thus turning him into a Bertie Wooster wannabe…

    @20…Chadt…

    Thank you, no…I believe I’ll pass…

    On the subjec of tolls…

    Absolute fairness dictates that those who use pay, and those who don’t don’t. Ditto transit.

    Under some of the theories I read here, anything less than immediately extending ST to every outhouse in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties is just shy of the crime of the century.

    Using the sales tax to fund transportation is a really stupid idea as TrueProgressive in @28 notes. Out of deference to my good friend, SJ, the what-pathetically-passes-for-leadership around here so thoroughly confuses how things will get paid for and exactly what’s being purchased almost as well as the flim-flam man with a pea and three walnut shells.

    Come to mentione it…doesn’t the flim-flam man and his equally chicanery-oriened brothers and sisters occupy most of the seats on the King County and Seattle City Councils?

    @25…Chadt…

    Just exactly how many names do you have, BTW?

    The Piper

  28. 33

    chadt spews:

    @25…Chadt…

    Just exactly how many names do you have, BTW?

    The Piper
    I am undone…cut to the bone…completely demolished by your ra

  29. 36

    eridani spews:

    Well then, sales taxes are regressive. Why not just eliminate all spending on infrastructure until we get meaningful tax reform.

  30. 37

    ken spews:

    proud leftist:

    Your point would be more justified if Sierra Club stuck to its values as they moun their destructive campaign against the light rail and regional roads measure.

    Instead, they have decided to join more than just arms with Kemper Freeman and the transit-hating right: first, we find out Sierra Club aren’t big light rail fans at all. Second, they use typical Rovian propaganda tactics to try and fool progressives into thinking the roads portion of the plan “could be greener”; now, Sierra has adopted the right’s anti-tax message as well.

    As such, I think Will is justified in calling them out. I also believe Sierra Club took these alarmist tactics to compensate for their poor 11th hour foray into this fight. If they had actually participated in the debates in Olympia years ago, and got involved in the RTID process BEFORE the Cross-Base Highway issue got their attention, I seriously doubt Sierra would have had to engage in such over-the-top rhetoric and tactics.

    Sad thing is, by watering down their valuable message about global warming with critiques of light rail and taxes, the Sierra Club does itself and its membership a serious disservice.

    The anti-transit right has plenty of money and plenty of friends in Olympia to achieve those goals. They don’t need Sierra Club’s help.

  31. 38

    Rasputin spews:

    “Well then, sales taxes are regressive. Why not just eliminate all spending on infrastructure until we get meaningful tax reform.”

    A better idea would be for the legislature to just split the measures and have better tax packages for both.

    If Seattle voters are unwilling to fuck themselves and their neighbors with even higher sales taxes for a bloated mass of not-net-green projects, then we’ll get something better from our friends in Olympia.

    In Portland the tax subsidizing the roads and MAX light rail system is a payroll tax. Something like that would be an improvement . . . .

  32. 39

    Piper Scott spews:

    Just so you’ll all know…

    Karl Rove has rigged it such that any ST expansion work resulting from Prop 1, should it pass, will be done exclusively by Haliburton…And Dick Cheney will both turn the first shovel of dirt and cut the ribbon for the first run of a train upon tracks manufactured in a non-Green, WTO-generated, anti-union sweatshop.

    HA’er’s all think that light rail,
    A Quixoticly green holy grail,
    Is the end all and be all
    That should be for free to all
    But they’ll pay more in taxes than bail!
    A little light verse to brighten your day!

    The Piper

  33. 40

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “Under some of the theories I read here, anything less than immediately extending ST to every outhouse in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties is just shy of the crime of the century.”

    A bit of hyperbole, but nothing compared to the racial and sexual theories of the wingnuttiae (yes, blacks and women are genetically inferior–whoulda’ thought?).

    But all such obviousness aside, maybe it wouldn’t be such a big crime (bigger than OJ?) if the outhouses were, like, closer together; or maybe the indoor outhouses (septic tanks) were eliminated, thus ridding ourselves of the need to, for example, clean up the waste spewed into Hood’s Canal at considerable public expense.

    Just sayin’

  34. 41

    TrueProgressive spews:

    This whole post is a strawman (attacking congestion pricing) ad-hominem (attacking Sierra Club) disappointment. If we want honest, rational dialogue we should be discussing the merits of RTID’s tax structure and its effect on global warming. But then maybe some people are afraid their opinions on RTID won’t stand up to honest, rational dialogue…
    Will, How about dealing with the issues head-on next time?

  35. 42

    please pay attention spews:

    If we want honest, rational dialogue we should be discussing the merits of building 50 miles of light rail and whether the defeat of this ballot measure will mean the dissolution of Sound Transit. That is the real question. But perhaps the Sierra Club is afraid that their opinions won’t stand up to honest, rational dialogue.

    I grow increasingly weary of the Sierra Club’s victim attitude. Perhaps if they had bothered to be a part of the regional discussion over the past three years they would have more credibility.

  36. 43

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @41: Understood. As far as making global warming and the tax structure the ‘basis’* of the issue, it important to remind you of what they say in the moral hazard biz: “You first”.

    *argument 101: whomever gets to pick the base of the discussion is heavy chalk.

  37. 44

    TrueProgressive spews:

    Fair enough.
    I’ve already stated my views on merits of RTID’s sales tax increase @ 30.

    As for global warming, I’m not willing to pay for 74 miles of new highway and the sprawl that comes with it- not even to get 50 miles of light rail. We need to get serious about reducing our CO2 emissions. This kind of “compromise” would set a bad precedent.
    Finally, as for the future of sound transit- they aren’t going to disapear if RTID fails! Official growth estimates for the Seattle area are 1.2 Million people in the next 25 years. If we’re going to handle that kind of growth we’re going to need mass transit in a major way. If (hopefully when) RTID fails, my guess is that we’ll see the same light rail proposal again- without the roads package and hopefully with a better funding system.

  38. 45

    Puddybud spews:

    Darryl says: “I know this must be very difficult for you to understand, but unlike you wingnuts, liberals don’t maintain a strong “top-down” approach to positions and messaging.”

    I guess you forgot Jane Hamsher’s weird, scary, & winnutty screech to Elizabeth Edwards: “Lay Off Move On”. She left the reservation and that “strong “top-down” approach to positions and messaging” had to be reiterated!

    Of course you did… it was over 24 hours ago.

    But… Puddy doesn’t forget!

    Waaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa

  39. 47

    Puddybud spews:

    Bike-Nut, yes I get it and I mostly agree with you. Either you are poor and live in slum-like dwellings in the MLK- Rainier Valley, you pay rent to slum-lords or you are forced out of Seattle due to high prices.

    Well why are there high prices? Moonbat! tax structures maybe?

  40. 48

    chadt spews:

    Puddy the PseudoChristian:

    Perhaps he’s not envious, just plans on passing through the eye of needle. But then, you whited sepulchres are above all that….

  41. 49

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “Well why are there high prices? Moonbat! tax structures maybe?”

    True, PuddbuTT (see, I agree with you). The mortgage tax deduction is a major contributor to ‘one family-one home’ sprawl; that and the ongoing subsidy to road building.

    The poor will be pushed out into the exurbs. Just the way the rich would want it. After all, we don’t want the poor clogging the gates to Broadmoor.

    Paradise, what? But since you support the income and wealth redistribution upward to the already rich, I guess you get what you’ve asked for.

  42. 50

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “Well why are there high prices? Moonbat! tax structures maybe?”

    Well, that and another of Alan Greenspan’s randian asset bubbles.

    “creating wealth” = greater fool theory.

  43. 51

    Puddybud spews:

    YLB – The Clueless One: More educated conservative black women for your small narrow mind.

    Anne Wortham – Associate Professor of Sociology at Illinois State University

    Eileen Gardener – Harvard educated researcher

    Claudia Butts – Owned her own advertising firm

  44. 53

    chadt spews:

    Can you even read, Pud. That makes absolutely NO sense.

    Not that that’s out of the ordinary for you…..

  45. 54

    scotto spews:

    Congestion is horribly regressive…

    This explains why London’s Mayor, “Red Ken” Livingston, proud socialist arch conservative, supports congestion pricing, why they love it in welfare state laissez faire Stockholm, and why those progressive like we can only dream nazi Norweigians in Bergen think congestion pricing “the most regressive forms of taxation out there” is a sensible way to pay for transportation oppress the masses.

    Really, Will, you are in way over your head.

  46. 55

    scotto spews:

    @37, No… RTID really will make global warming worse. That is a sufficient reason to vote NO.

  47. 56

    eddiew spews:

    back to Will’s original point. Are tolls regressive? HOT lanes have the nickname Lexus lanes. A good policy ajustment is to use some toll revenue to improve transit service. Providing improved transit is a second best solution to the equity issue. Note that if dynamic tolling results in more free flow travel conditions, all modes benefit: freight, general-purpose, and transit. Transit would be faster, more reliable, and will the toll revenue paying for more service, more frequent. speed, reliability, and frequency are three attributes of attractive transit service.

    their regressivity is complicated and dependent upon the time value of money, elasticities, and the corridor. Note that households can adjust their travel mode, travel times, employment location, and even residence in response to transportation and cost vectors. that is why the I-90 corridor has developed; it provides fast trip times.

    during the 2008 Session, the policy discussion over tolling will hopefully answer several questions:
    1. will tolling be used to optimize flow or maximize revenue;
    2. how will toll revenue be restricted (e.g., by corridor oro purpose; capital or operations and maintenance); and,
    3. who will toll.

  48. 57

    Wayne spews:

    Ho hum. eddiew should go to work for the Discovery Institute. He can get people to like buses at the same time that band of Reaganites proves Jesus was actually an Atomic Scientist. Kill us with ever-swerving theories…PLEASE! Or eddiew’s goal is to put us to sleep.

    Along with his stupid theoretical postulations to the ether, eddiew may want to ponder this one: what politician running for re-election would be dumb enough to get behind the Sierra Club’s highly unpopular Nader-esque ideas?

    Of course, they forget to pose the most important question. Reality is no obstacle, right guys??

    “Really, Will, you are in way over your head. ”

    Scotto: Sierra Club would be in over their heads…that is, if you guys had even joined the transportation debate before what, a month or two ago? After reading those stories about the pathetic 11th hour lawsuits in the paper, it was clear Sierra Club has been a day late and a dollar short with all this activity; it’s also very clear they just enjoy the attention.

    And after reading how Sierra Club transportation panel members Tim Gould and Jack Whisner are all over the map on light rail, contradicting themselves along the way to drive their credibility further into the ground, it is confirmed the Sierra Club can’t be in over their heads…they never got in the water!

    Trust me guys, I get the national Sierra Club propaganda. Your organization has been spewing out the same stuff for aging hippies for decades. Here’s the one chance for a bunch of unorganized, underfunded white Seattle guys to get in the paper.

    “As for global warming, I’m not willing to pay for 74 miles of new highway and the sprawl that comes with it- not even to get 50 miles of light rail. We need to get serious about reducing our CO2 emissions. This kind of “compromise” would set a bad precedent.”

    The loony toons aren’t just for Saturday mornings anymore. Soon we will have a special daily bulletin read over loudspeakers: “what cars would Sierra Clubbers drive? And what roads would they drive on?” 74 miles? THE HORRORS! Take a look at car-happy Seattleites…get your own damn house in order…THEN you can start being Evangelical and judgemental in your approach. Think that might be a good idea, guys?

  49. 58

    Wayne spews:

    And Puddy: if you weren’t a chronic alcoholic who hated women and non-whites, you probably wouldn’t be such a pathetic right winger. I’m serious: cut the booze, and you’ll stop hating people.

  50. 59

    Wayne spews:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/....._eved.html

    Electric Cars will likely end Sierra Club’s hysteria about building new roads in a decade or two. In the end, it’s not the actual pavment which causes ghg emissions. It is the vehicles which drive on that pavement.

    Unfortunately, because of weight and safety, eddiew’s buses-for-everybody plan will not likely be powered by batteries charged off of dams – not tomorrow, and not in the future.

    So why is eddiew and the other Sierra Club people haunting these boards in full-court press mode always trying to tell us buses are better than electric trains? They are supposed to be trying to get rid of ghg emissions, right?

  51. 60

    Puddybud spews:

    Wayne@58: WTF? Apparently you know very little about me!

    1) I like women, but love my wife. I don’t visit the hairy rimmed Hershey Highway. Do you?

    2) Puddy doesn’t drink.

    3) The YLB – The Clueless one’s issue was liberal women vs. conservative women. I placed forth wonderful conservative black women scorned by your political friends. And your problem is…? besides being stupid!

  52. 61

    eddiew spews:

    wayne,

    the region is right-of-way constrained and transit projects face a budget constraint. the objectives ought to be maximizing ridership subject to the budget constraint. LRT is a wonderful transit mode. many areas built modern LRT by using abandoned freight rail rights-of-way (e.g., Sacremento, San Jose, San Diego, Denver, St. Louis, even Vancouver’s SkyTrain, Ottawa’s busway and diesel LRT). LA is using an abandoned freight line for their Orange Line BRT. ST is not using any such ROW. It is suggesting that it build its own. This is quite costly.

  53. 62

    spews:

    In his original post, Will cited an article about a tolling proposal in Georgia that would convert certain HOV lanes into toll lanes. While this article does describe an example of a “Lexus lane”—one with a congestion pricing twist added (toll varies based on traffic loads)—said congestion pricing twist doesn’t make it the congestion pricing that most of us are talking about. SC has been supporting congestion pricing, but there is no connection between the story cited (Lexus lanes) and congestion pricing. This is lazy and misleading argumentation.

    As for Will’s point that “tolls and a higher gas tax … are the most regressive forms of taxation”, this is not so. While these are not the most progressive tax types, they most certainly are not the most regressive, because they do not tax all transportation options equally.

    Will goes on to state that we don’t have a choice about how much to pay for our commute transportation, because we “have to get to work”. Sure, we have to get to work, and our commute options for tomorrow are very fixed. But how we get there, when we get there and from where we start our trips are acts we can change over time. We should also note that the truly poor are generally not homeowners and can make different decisions about where to live during the next move. What congestion pricing and user fees will do is shift the comparative costs between living far from work and living close to work.

    Finally, I agree that urban housing affordability is a serious problem, which congestion pricing and user fees exacerbate. I think that a portion of increases in transportation fees imposed by the state should be redirected to help low income families, such as building more affordable housing nearer to job centers.

  54. 63

    michael spews:

    @59

    “Sierra Club people haunting these boards in full-court press mode always trying to tell us buses are better than electric trains?”

    We’re not!