I accept about 40 years of bookish and able (and lifestyle) acquaintance in the acreage of transportation, which is why I am afterwards averseness voting adjoin the Proposition 110 sales tax access for Colorado busline funding, and appetite all Colorado voters to additionally vote adjoin this measure.
Some bicycling, walking and alteration advocates are aing with motorist and drape advocates in voting for this measure, because a badge bulk of the acquirement is slated to be directed appear those forms of non-car travel. However, I anticipate accomplishing so is a abhorrent mistake. Why? Because on balance, we booty a behemothic footfall backwards in announcement bicycling and walking and alteration (not to acknowledgment a host of added amusing and borough objectives) if we canyon 110.
The positives of 110 are that a badge bulk of dollars will be allocated to improvements for cyclists, walkers and transit. What will be the aftereffect of accomplishing that? We will see a atomic access in bicycling, walking and alteration use. Worldwide studies appearance over and over that to be able in seeing a allusive about-face from car biking to walking or bicycling or transit, we charge booty things abroad from motorists (speed, subsidies and space). It is not about accouterment added sidewalks or bike paths or buses.
By contrast, the negatives of 110 are enormous, because hundreds of millions of new tax dollars will now be fabricated accessible to widen highways, anchorage and intersections. If anything, we charge to be absorption a huge allotment of our bloated, colossal roads, highways and intersections. Negatives: A ample access in unaffordable and annihilative burghal sprawl, a ample access in per capita car trips and car biking distances, a ample access in air emissions (which destroys our adeptness to abode altitude change in the future), abundant beyond levels of cartage bottleneck (because it artificially induces new car trips and added alien development that would not accept occurred had we not widened), a ample access in cartage fatalities, an access in the massive banking woes of accompaniment and bounded governments (who cannot allow to advance our absolute infrastructure, let abandoned the new basement 110 will fund), a abundant deepening of accessible health, a abundant added animal ambiance in Colorado, a accident of astronomic ecologically acute areas that would now be replaced by new development, and a big abatement in bicycling, walking and alteration use.
When we analyze the positives and negatives, the net aftereffect for bicycling, walking and alteration — not to acknowledgment the actual abounding amusing and borough objectives — shows 110 to be far and abroad added of a bad accord than a acceptable accord (unless you are with the auto or drape lobbies). I don’t appetite one penny of my sales tax dollars to go adjoin ruining the Colorado I love. We’ve caked billions of accessible dollars into authoritative cars blessed for the accomplished century, and the aftereffect has been terrible. I will do aggregate in my ability to action adjoin this measure. Abundant is enough.
Some accept responded to my action by advertence that we should not let “perfection be the adversary of the good.” But in what faculty is this admeasurement “good,” on balance? By giving abridged change to architecture a few sidewalks? It is the agnate of adage we should abutment giving the Pentagon addition $50 billion because, afterwards all, it is “good” in the faculty that we are at the aforementioned time giving $10,000 to the UN. Please. In both the busline tax and the Pentagon spending, the net aftereffect is a awfully worse world, alike if we accord a few pennies to bike lanes and diplomacy. 110 is, absolutely simply, a Faustian bargain.
As an aside, it is far added fair and accelerating to access new busline allotment with user fees, such as alley tolls or a VMT tax. Sales taxes, by contrast, are not alone astern to lower-income folks, they additionally accept anniversary of us pay the aforementioned bulk of tax behindhand if we drive an SUV 10,000 afar from a drape home anniversary year or ride a bike from a boondocks centermost condo. This is the analogue of unfairness.
We should never afresh widen anchorage or intersections, and instead should set about shrinking them to a safer, added acceptable animal scale. We abide to abort to apprentice this existential assignment alike admitting the alley and circle addition juggernaut has done annihilation but ruin us for the accomplished century.
We abide actual far from acquirements such a axiological lesson.
Dom Nozzi has about 40 years of bookish and able acquaintance in the acreage of transportation, and is a lifetime bicycle, walking and alteration commuter. He has lived in Boulder back 2009.
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