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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 04-07-16, 10:27 PM   #1
Ekdog
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There's No Such Thing as a Free Parking Space

I say parking meters on every street. Why should we all have to subsidize free parking?


There?s No Such Thing As A Free Parking Space | HUSH Magazine
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Old 04-07-16, 11:37 PM   #2
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Isn't it better to have those vehicles parked than driving?

I do admit that the idea of the city building and maintaining parking spots along streets is a bit odd. It does allow shared resources to some extent, so if you have several friends visit, you don't run out of parking. And, perhaps in a business district, a customer can park and visit multiple businesses.

Nobody likes paid parking, and some business districts pay extra taxes to get free parking for their customers.

Also, keep in mind that the car drivers pay several extra taxes intended for road maintenance that a cyclist doesn't pay.
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Old 04-07-16, 11:59 PM   #3
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Isn't it better to have those vehicles parked than driving?

I do admit that the idea of the city building and maintaining parking spots along streets is a bit odd. It does allow shared resources to some extent, so if you have several friends visit, you don't run out of parking. And, perhaps in a business district, a customer can park and visit multiple businesses.

Nobody likes paid parking, and some business districts pay extra taxes to get free parking for their customers.

Also, keep in mind that the car drivers pay several extra taxes intended for road maintenance that a cyclist doesn't pay.
They also do all of the non-weather damage to the roads, which around here is all of the damage. Those taxes/user fees that are unique to motorists cover about 40% of the cost of building and maintaining the roads of America; the other 60% comes from general taxes (income, sales, excise, property). Also, all of the operational costs of the roads like police and ambulance services are funded from general taxes. That means that motorists aren't paying anywhere near their fair share. It makes it even worse when they are given special amenities like subsidized free parking. It gets even more galling when that parking creates dangerous conditions for cyclists, like when traffic engineers put the bike lanes in the door zones.

If you want to see what really gets me angry, show up next week to the public meeting about removing the "free" parking along 24th Ave in Eugene. I'll wager that a large number of car-addicts will show up to complain about this common-sense safety proposal to get the bike lanes next to the school upgraded so that they are no longer dangerous door-zone bike lanes.
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Old 04-08-16, 01:27 AM   #4
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Isn't it better to have those vehicles parked than driving?
Yes, but please park them on your own dime. What are you saying, that if we don't provide car owners with free parking that their vehicles will be in perpetual motion?
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Old 04-08-16, 02:27 AM   #5
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Yes, but please park them on your own dime. What are you saying, that if we don't provide car owners with free parking that their vehicles will be in perpetual motion?
Ever see car drivers that can't find a parking spot 20 feet from a store entrance?
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Old 04-08-16, 06:05 AM   #6
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I know of a place that will pay you to park your car there... the bone yard!
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Old 04-08-16, 07:10 AM   #7
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They want it ALL: both sides of every street dedicated to free parking for cars. This leaves no room for bike lanes, of course.
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Old 04-08-16, 07:38 AM   #8
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Ever see car drivers that can't find a parking spot 20 feet from a store entrance?
This is one more reason to eliminate free parking spaces. Some people will use these spaces to park their cars all day. The people who go shopping will then go in circle trying to find a free parking space creating congestion. This is what happens where I live. During the day, the store employees take the free parking spots that could be available for customers. Some cities have solved this problem with "smart parcometers" that will modulate the parking fees according to the demand. This solution is being implemented here but this causes a lot of protests by the people who don't want to pay for what they use.
There is a new mega hospital that opened recently. The parking lot there costed 140 millions to build and they want to charge high fee to recover the cost. But some people say it is unfair to charge so much. It is becoming more and more difficult to fund the health system and all other essential services but some people want free parking instead.
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Old 04-08-16, 08:49 AM   #9
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This is one more reason to eliminate free parking spaces. Some people will use these spaces to park their cars all day. The people who go shopping will then go in circle trying to find a free parking space creating congestion. This is what happens where I live. During the day, the store employees take the free parking spots that could be available for customers. Some cities have solved this problem with "smart parcometers" that will modulate the parking fees according to the demand. This solution is being implemented here but this causes a lot of protests by the people who don't want to pay for what they use.
There is a new mega hospital that opened recently. The parking lot there costed 140 millions to build and they want to charge high fee to recover the cost. But some people say it is unfair to charge so much. It is becoming more and more difficult to fund the health system and all other essential services but some people want free parking instead.
And I may add that parking meters were invented to address the problem of insufficient parking spaces caused by free parking.
World?s first parking meter installed - Jul 16, 1935 - HISTORY.com
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Old 04-08-16, 09:21 AM   #10
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One of the consistent battles fought to make our city more bike-friendly is when a desired bike lane interferes with parking. I can understand how it becomes an issue in certain retail areas, but it seems completely indefensible in residential areas. Bike lanes are impossible because people don't want to park in their driveway. So instead of a more comprehensive transportation network, the city is using tax money to subsidize personal parking spaces.

There was a Freakonomics podcast episode about free parking as well that I found interesting. Parking Is Hell: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast - Freakonomics Freakonomics
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Old 04-08-16, 06:14 PM   #11
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Nobody likes paid parking, and some business districts pay extra taxes to get free parking for their customers.
Nobody likes to pay for their OWN parking, especially when you can get other people to pay for it instead.
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Old 04-08-16, 06:27 PM   #12
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I say parking meters on every street.
I wonder how many cities could really afford your... solution? Apparently Detroit can't. I'd guess many cities can't.
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Old 04-08-16, 06:53 PM   #13
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Doesn't the installation of parking meters increase the chances that people will simply drive to the closest mall and park for free and do all of their shopping in one place? That is one thing Walky World does, kit buys up the land it needs and offers free parking not only for customers but for overnight RV parking. What happens here anyway.
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Old 04-09-16, 07:44 AM   #14
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They also do all of the non-weather damage to the roads, which around here is all of the damage. Those taxes/user fees that are unique to motorists cover about 40% of the cost of building and maintaining the roads of America; the other 60% comes from general taxes (income, sales, excise, property). Also, all of the operational costs of the roads like police and ambulance services are funded from general taxes. That means that motorists aren't paying anywhere near their fair share. It makes it even worse when they are given special amenities like subsidized free parking. It gets even more galling when that parking creates dangerous conditions for cyclists, like when traffic engineers put the bike lanes in the door zones.

If you want to see what really gets me angry, show up next week to the public meeting about removing the "free" parking along 24th Ave in Eugene. I'll wager that a large number of car-addicts will show up to complain about this common-sense safety proposal to get the bike lanes next to the school upgraded so that they are no longer dangerous door-zone bike lanes.
So what your saying is people with cars do pay more than you do for the roads everyone uses regardless the mode of transportation. Your use is not excluded to getting around either. I presume you eat and work and supporting those functions requires roads for delivery of goods and services even though you don't use a car, and it's actually those larger vehicles that do the vast majority or road damage. There will come a time where you need police, fire or ambulatory services which your tax dollars pay for. I would also argue, and it is fact, that someone living car free has a much lower tax footprint and is therefore paying significantly less money into the kitty to support those roads overall.

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Old 04-09-16, 07:47 AM   #15
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I left my car parked at home today and took my bike to do all the grocery shopping even though parking is free...Here is the suburbs there is tons of free parking, but all that free parking also has certain restrictions, like time limits and no overnight parking. Don't even think about parking your van and sleeping/living in it.
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Old 04-09-16, 08:12 AM   #16
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I left my car parked at home today and took my bike to do all the grocery shopping even though parking is free...Here is the suburbs there is tons of free parking, but all that free parking also has certain restrictions, like time limits and no overnight parking. Don't even think about parking your van and sleeping/living in it.
In the burbs parking isn't actually free, that's a false construct. The developer paid for that parking lot, roadway and/or curb and passed the cost on the business owners and home buyers when they moved in. We have a road upkeep assesment thats clearly stated in our property taxes ($380 a year times however many thousands live out here) and the store owners have resurfaced the parking lots at the strip malls as least twice in the last 15 years. I'd imagine if people living in apartments in urbanized areas actually saw their landlords tax bill they have a better understanding of property taxes, but it's clear most don't.
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Old 04-09-16, 11:28 AM   #17
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I would also argue, and it is fact, that someone living car free has a much lower tax footprint and is therefore paying significantly less money into the kitty to support those roads overall.
People who live car-free often spend the money they save on other things, such as homes and other goods and services, so I don't see why their tax footprint would necessarily be lower.
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Old 04-09-16, 01:48 PM   #18
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People who live car-free often spend the money they save on other things, such as homes and other goods and services, so I don't see why their tax footprint would necessarily be lower.
My property tax bill is $6k a year. And I actually misstated the amount of that for roads. That was the six month bill. There are also specific line items for sidewalks, schools and emergency services with about 60% of the net bill going to the general funds of the City and County.

People living in apartments/multifamily units pay a fraction of that because their landlord is paying it on the net value of the property. If you don't drive, you don't carry registration fees nor do you pay fuel taxes. If you don't drive you also don't help subsidize mass transit which is a money losing disaster with a subsidization rate of about 69% because fares are too low. I'm not even going to get into income taxes which trickle down to roads, but my annual income tax bill is higher than the average annual income of US citizens.

Nothing irritates me more than the false claim that urban dwellers pay their way. Most urban centers were built before the "pay as you go" suburbs came into existence and their property taxes get no where near to what is required to rebuild that aged infrastructure, which in most large cities is now essential.

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Old 04-09-16, 01:53 PM   #19
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So what your saying is people with cars do pay more than you do for the roads everyone uses regardless the mode of transportation. Your use is not excluded to getting around either. I presume you eat and work and supporting those functions requires roads for delivery of goods and services even though you don't use a car, and it's actually those larger vehicles that do the vast majority or road damage. There will come a time where you need police, fire or ambulatory services which your tax dollars pay for. I would also argue, and it is fact, that someone living car free has a much lower tax footprint and is therefore paying significantly less money into the kitty to support those roads overall.
This doesn't hold up. You pay less taxes in two ways: you earn less or you spend less. It's true that a person who doesn't buy gas will pay less that is specifically earmarked for roads, but the damage they do is also considerably less if they are not using a motor vehicle. Yes, there are heavier vehicles that do even more damage to the roads than passenger cars, but we all pay for those, just indirectly. Those goods and services that we all enjoy have transportation costs baked in. Every time you check out at the grocery store or confirm payment in your Amazon cart, you buy some gas and pay some fees for the trucks that get your stuff to you. So in that way, we all pay equally for the most damaging vehicles. But there is definitely a correlation between vehicle weight and damage done to the roads. So if one vehicle weighs 10 times what another weighs, shouldn't they be paying 10 times more for road upkeep? For that to work, we need to raise the gas tax so that it accounts for 90% of the road budget. Then cyclists can finally stop subsidizing the car drivers. And maybe then they can stop using money I put into the general fund to pay for limited access highways I'm not allowed to use.
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Old 04-09-16, 01:57 PM   #20
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This doesn't hold up. You pay less taxes in two ways: you earn less or you spend less. It's true that a person who doesn't buy gas will pay less that is specifically earmarked for roads, but the damage they do is also considerably less if they are not using a motor vehicle. Yes, there are heavier vehicles that do even more damage to the roads than passenger cars, but we all pay for those, just indirectly. Those goods and services that we all enjoy have transportation costs baked in. Every time you check out at the grocery store or confirm payment in your Amazon cart, you buy some gas and pay some fees for the trucks that get your stuff to you. So in that way, we all pay equally for the most damaging vehicles. But there is definitely a correlation between vehicle weight and damage done to the roads. So if one vehicle weighs 10 times what another weighs, shouldn't they be paying 10 times more for road upkeep? For that to work, we need to raise the gas tax so that it accounts for 90% of the road budget. Then cyclists can finally stop subsidizing the car drivers. And maybe then they can stop using money I put into the general fund to pay for limited access highways I'm not allowed to use.
Cyclists subsidize cars? LOL. Let me know when you want to have a real conversation. And yes, heavier vehicles should pay more. Diesel fuel tax should be twice as high as gasoline. This should also cause a corresponding increase in transit fares to pay for the damage done by buses.

Enjoy that road you're ridding on paid for by my gas taxes. I ride on it too, but I'm not going to pretend I'm subsidizing the cars next to me. That's just silly.

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Old 04-10-16, 12:30 AM   #21
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Cyclists subsidize cars? LOL. Let me know when you want to have a real conversation. And yes, heavier vehicles should pay more. Diesel fuel tax should be twice as high as gasoline. This should also cause a corresponding increase in transit fares to pay for the damage done by buses.

Enjoy that road you're ridding on paid for by my gas taxes. I ride on it too, but I'm not going to pretend I'm subsidizing the cars next to me. That's just silly.
A lot of the cost of road maintenance is funded by property and sales taxes (depending on the location) so yes, people who don't buy gasoline do pay taxes for streets and highways. Also, as,others have noted, part of the cost of goods and services pays for highway taxes paid by the shippers.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. Even people who don't drive do benefit from the road system, and should help pay for it, IMO. The sad thing is that NOBODY is actually willing to pay for the infrastructure. We've been deferring repairs and improvements for decades now, and the roads and other infrastructure are crumbling because of our cheapness.
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Old 04-10-16, 04:32 AM   #22
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I hate paying for parking. BUT, if there was paid parking everywhere except at your home, I think a lot more folks would decide to ride a bike as often as they could.
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Old 04-10-16, 06:34 AM   #23
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I hate paying for parking. BUT, if there was paid parking everywhere except at your home, I think a lot more folks would decide to ride a bike as often as they could.
It the center of the city where I reside there are very few parking spaces, and almost all of them are metered. Guess what. Most people leave their cars at home and walk, cycle or take the bus to the center.
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Old 04-10-16, 01:15 PM   #24
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You go to your city council meetings and lobby your fellow citizens to get things done, not gripe on this forum.

though this is convenient. if all you want to do is Vent. feel better now?

a pro-active approach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-fWN0FmcIU

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Old 04-10-16, 02:17 PM   #25
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You go to your city council meetings and lobby your fellow citizens to get things done, not gripe on this forum.

though this is convenient.
Why not do both? That's what I do.
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