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Author Topic: No More Freeways PDX  (Read 1350 times)

Bruce

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2017, 01:43:18 AM »

Probably not.  Clark County has a 7.7% sales tax. If you're buying a bike at $200, that's ~ $215 after tax (no savings). Any more expensive than $200 (most bikes), and that flat tax looks really appetising.

7.7% -- for the West Coast, that's nothing; we're 9.25% here in San Jose -- and some neighboring communities are up to 9.75%.  So far, nobody's dared to go into double figures -- but I figure that's coming within 2-3 years!

Tacoma (where I live) is 10.1% (6.5% state + 3.6% city). Figuring out after-tax prices is pretty easy! I believe we have one of the highest sales taxes in the country (.5% higher than Seattle!), although behind several Snohomish county cities (10.3% to 10.4% in many municipalities).

Yikes!  Are all those 10%+ taxes general funding or are portions thereof dedicated to specific expenditures (i.e., buses, LR expansion, public housing, or other earmarked outlays?).  Many of the higher tax rates in CA can be "parsed" out, with fixed portions applied to certain projects (such as the BART extension to SJ, which accounts for about a half-percent of our local sales tax base); it would be interesting to see if WA is utilizing that concept as well.

Sales taxes can be levied by all sorts of government agencies. It varies from city to city, and even within cities (if you are within certain boundaries, like the regional transit authority).

The highest sales tax is 10.4%, shared by Lynnwood and Mill Creek in Snohomish County.

Breaking it down for Lynnwood: 6.5% set by the State of Washington, 1.4% for Sound Transit (regional transit, voter approved in 2008 and 2016), 1.2% for Community Transit (local transit, voter approved in 2015), 0.1% for the Lynnwood Transportation Benefit District, and some other taxes I can't find at the moment.

Also, car sales have a surcharge that increases the sales tax to 10.7%. And car tabs are pretty expensive. Fair price to pay for the environmental damage, so happy motoring!

sp_redelectric

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2017, 05:49:09 PM »

The money raised by the bike tax will go directly to projects "that expand and improve commuter routes for nonmotorized vehicles and pedestrians."

While lawmakers consider the passage of the bill a big win, bicycle activists are less enthusiastic.

"Congrats to Oregon," wrote Angie Schmitt on Streets Blog USA, "on its preposterous bike tax that accomplishes no discernible transportation goal except dampening demand for new bikes."

Best way to combat this, is tie cycling-specific infrastructure funding to the tax.

If cyclists choose to circumvent the tax, they'll find fewer bike paths, lesser maintenance on the existing paths, bike lanes removed during repaving projects...it'll be obvious.

Cities don't pour more money into roads when gas tax revenues decline - my local community has increased sealcoating and chipsealing, and tried some new methods to avoid repaving streets; plus we're doing fewer miles with each year.  And we're fortunate to have a city gas tax.
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froggie

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2017, 08:30:40 AM »

Do Oregon local jurisdictions not use property taxes to pay for streets?  That's what's done in most other states/cities...because gas tax apportionments only cover a small share of a given city's streets.  And bicyclists certainly pay property taxes.
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2017, 12:13:13 PM »

Do Oregon local jurisdictions not use property taxes to pay for streets?  That's what's done in most other states/cities...because gas tax apportionments only cover a small share of a given city's streets.  And bicyclists certainly pay property taxes.

Yeah, important point. For example, Portland's transportation department gets $14.6 million from the city's general fund; ODOT gets lottery money; and a lot of federal pass-through money comes from discretionary Congressional spending, because needs far outweigh what the federal gas tax can provide.
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i-215

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2017, 08:30:03 PM »

But that's not what this group (and others of its ilk) want -- as they consider all traffic modes to be part of a fungible continuum, their goal is to render metro driving so onerous that mass abandonment of the automotive mode occurs as a natural progression.  However, if I-5 in the north half remains as is with the likely resultant increase in congestion in short order, the "overflow" traffic will simply move to parallel streets -- N. Interstate, MLK, and even local arterials (to the consternation of neighborhood residents).

BINGO!

I lived in the then-gentrifying Lloyd District of Portland about 15 years ago, without a car (financial reasons).  My neighbors were very vocal about how the auto industry was a big conspiracy, etc.  They were dead set on riding their bike to put up fliers, attend meetings, etc. to make driving a thing of the past.  Sounds like it's only gotten louder and more obnoxious since then.

Fun fact:  I moved away to Salt Lake City where the freeways are like 10 lanes wide and traffic is actually... decent.  No, a city can't forever build itself out of congestion, but Utah has sure tried and as a result commute times are pretty reasonable.  (And there is also a lot of transit, bike lanes, etc.; proof a city can do both).

Portland will NEVER see the curves south of downtown fixed.  In my lifetime I'll probably see the I-5 torn down from the Marquam and the Banfield.  And I'll see a road diet on 82nd.  Idiots.  They picked their destiny when they cancelled the US-26 freeway across SE Portland and built the MAX instead.  I can't say I blame them, but it just frosts me to see these crappy collector streets in SE that have no sidewalks or shoulders -- which would be fixed if ODOT and Metro were allowed to do their job and widen these roads to 5 lanes (2+1+2).  Bicyclists would actually BENEFIT from the widening improvements, because multiuse trails, bike lanes, sidewalks, and ADA ramps would be part of the project.  Instead these crappy undersized roads just sit there like it's still 1971.  Oh well.  I love Portland, but when it comes to transportation, I'm suuuuuuuuure glad I moved away.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 08:35:04 PM by i-215 »
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jakeroot

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2017, 09:26:28 PM »

Fun fact:  I moved away to Salt Lake City where the freeways are like 10 lanes wide and traffic is actually... decent.  No, a city can't forever build itself out of congestion, but Utah has sure tried and as a result commute times are pretty reasonable.

Makes no difference. SLC will eventually run out of room, ROW will become too expensive, etc. It's the same story in every single city that has ever grown to become a bustling metropolis.

(And there is also a lot of transit, bike lanes, etc.; proof a city can do both).

It's just smart growth. By your own confession, cities cannot build their way out of congestion. Therefore, counter the congestion ahead of time by building out a rail and foot-based network before shit hits the fan. I wish every city grew like Salt Lake. But, in so many of these newer, relatively congestion-free cities, the residents see no reason to build out the public transit network because, well, why bother? Traffic is fine...there's no reason to the blow the money.

I have no opinion on the widening of the 5 through Portland. I think in ten years, it won't make a difference. But it will keep the motorists happy, and more willing to invest in future public transit projects (rather than abandoning the motorist and expecting them to fund something that they may never use). Sounds slightly deceptive, but it's not the government's fault traffic is shitty. People seem willing to put up with congestion as long as they feel like the DOT is doing work to improve things, regardless if they actually do as much.
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Scott5114

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2017, 05:04:33 PM »

It could be argued that Oklahoma City "built their way out of congestion" and still has the space to continue doing so indefinitely. Faced with a lack of space to expand I-40, they simply realigned it to the south where there was room.
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jakeroot

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2017, 11:30:11 PM »

It could be argued that Oklahoma City "built their way out of congestion" and still has the space to continue doing so indefinitely. Faced with a lack of space to expand I-40, they simply realigned it to the south where there was room.

Google Maps's "Typical Traffic" tool suggests some pretty heavy congestion during afternoon commutes along the 235, 35, and 44 freeways. Still, for a city that has grown by some 25 percent in the last two decades, it's impressive things aren't worse. But, OKC would be smart to invest in other forms of transport, other than person vehicles, if they want to continue accommodating new persons. I don't see a lot of room for new freeways within the city. New freeways meandering out the metro area do nothing to improve capacity within the city, so simply sprawling out in all directions would be a poor idea. I'd suggest high-density growth within the downtown area, and light rail lines connecting downtown with the OU hospital, Penn Square Mall, and Will Rogers Airport. Take advantage of the cheap land while you still can. It's something Seattleites wish they had done 40 years ago.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2017, 11:39:10 PM »

Being from OKC, google is misleading. Traffic is almost non existent in OKC. There might be a few spots that back up for an hour at most and even at that traffic still flows around 30MPH or so.
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jakeroot

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2017, 12:06:43 AM »

Being from OKC, google is misleading. Traffic is almost non existent in OKC. There might be a few spots that back up for an hour at most and even at that traffic still flows around 30MPH or so.

Gotcha. Probably not anything like what I'm used to in Seattle and Vancouver. But, would you say traffic is getting worse, or better?
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2017, 04:21:03 AM »

Being from OKC, google is misleading. Traffic is almost non existent in OKC. There might be a few spots that back up for an hour at most and even at that traffic still flows around 30MPH or so.

Gotcha. Probably not anything like what I'm used to in Seattle and Vancouver. But, would you say traffic is getting worse, or better?
I’ve noticed a considerable uptick in traffic. Having lived in L.A. my tolerance for traffic has gone way up. Even at that, I have still noticed a substantial increase in traffic. Congestion is starting to happen all day on I-44 along the west side of the metro and I-35 from DTOKC to Norman. It shouldn’t be long now before the same is said for Edmond.

That being said, I do wish they’d get on the ball with rail. With a streetcar wrapping up, the OKC city council has laid out preferred routes for LRT though none have been formally studied. Still exiting to see “official” possible route lists from the city.
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jakeroot

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Re: No More Freeways PDX
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2017, 04:15:50 PM »

Being from OKC, google is misleading. Traffic is almost non existent in OKC. There might be a few spots that back up for an hour at most and even at that traffic still flows around 30MPH or so.

Gotcha. Probably not anything like what I'm used to in Seattle and Vancouver. But, would you say traffic is getting worse, or better?

I’ve noticed a considerable uptick in traffic. Having lived in L.A. my tolerance for traffic has gone way up. Even at that, I have still noticed a substantial increase in traffic. Congestion is starting to happen all day on I-44 along the west side of the metro and I-35 from DTOKC to Norman. It shouldn’t be long now before the same is said for Edmond.

That being said, I do wish they’d get on the ball with rail. With a streetcar wrapping up, the OKC city council has laid out preferred routes for LRT though none have been formally studied. Still exiting to see “official” possible route lists from the city.

No surprise to hear ^that^, at all. People moving to a new city need to get around. Because OKC lacks a serious light rail or BRT network, many of these people have moved to where it's cheap enough that they can afford both a car and a house. If they didn't need a car, they might have moved somewhere nicer, somewhere denser...either way, not contributing to the growing congestion.

I too am excited to see what the city is planning. OKC is in a great position to build out a wonderful light rail or BRT network. Land is affordable, and the geography is generally flat. Both would contribute to lower costs than the $50+ billion that Seattle is having to spend to build its light rail (due to tunnels and bridges all over the place, plus extremely expensive land).
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