Author Topic: Anti-Mustachian laws  (Read 5463 times)

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #50 on: November 26, 2020, 06:49:09 AM »
If it were a road tax then it should be levied on bicyclists and ICE car drivers as well. After all, they use roads too.

Cyclists pay lots of other taxes that contribute to general Governmental revenues...some of which is used to support the transportation network. Fuel taxes are not sufficient to pay for the road networks in and of themselves. Given how little wear and tear bicycles cause and the fact that the reduced vehicle congestion and reduced healthcare system use benefits the overall population it seems like a reasonable situation to me that cyclists don't pay anything additional.

Dicey

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #51 on: November 26, 2020, 06:54:47 AM »
And yet we keep re-electing the same folks to office with the same failed policies.
This kind of statement is bullshit kind of frustrating. Do you think the mere act of getting elected to a local/state/federal office gives the newly elected a magic wand to scrap everything and start over? Because it absolutely does not. Electeds inherit an existing system. Many elements of that system were put in place by majority vote. Just because someone wins an election doesn't give them carte blanche to scrap everything and do whatever they* want. Nothing is simple and everything involves compromise. It's the way of democracy.

Let's look at School Boards. They're local and should be a pretty easy place to effect sweeping changes, right? There isn't a School Board anywhere, no matter how well run, that doesn't face conflicting student needs, teacher needs, parental demands, scarcity of time/resources/consensus and a maze of existing bureaucracy. No matter how skilled, well-intentioned and effective the elected Board Members are, there will always be factions competing for their "fair share".

Many, many problems in a large, developed society are not completely solvable. Let's use Autism, for example. Do Autistic children deserve to have unlimited resources at their disposal? Sure, in a perfect world, but not at the expense of every other non-Autistic student. Enter: the endless need for compromise. The sooner we give up the myth that electeds can create a perfect world, the better.

Does this mean that no one should try to make the world better? Absolutely not. It does mean that we need to stop this magical thinking about the power of winning and holding an office. If you care, get involved. Help someone get elected, or heck, run for office yourself.

*Note: I am deliberately not choosing the most obvious person who thought they could do this, because this truth applies at all levels of democratic government. There are plenty of other threads devoted to the performance of a specific individual.

FINate

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2020, 08:34:03 AM »
And yet we keep re-electing the same folks to office with the same failed policies.
This kind of statement is bullshit kind of frustrating. Do you think the mere act of getting elected to a local/state/federal office gives the newly elected a magic wand to scrap everything and start over? Because it absolutely does not. Electeds inherit an existing system. Many elements of that system were put in place by majority vote. Just because someone wins an election doesn't give them carte blanche to scrap everything and do whatever they* want. Nothing is simple and everything involves compromise. It's the way of democracy.

I stand by my comments, frustrating as they may be :) Of course I'm not naive about institutional inertia, and fully agree that a new leader cannot turn the ship on a dime. My comments were in the context of broken housing policy, an area I know quite well after spending a lot of time going back into the local news archives from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. You know what? Housing policy wasn't always broken. What broke it? Electing a bunch of no-growth leaders over the course of many years. Apparently elections do have consequences. And so housing policy in my old home town has been dysfunctional for at least 4 decades now...40 years!! So absolutely, no one person can fix 40 years of bad (elitist, anti-green, anti-MMM) policy. It will take many leaders many years to change direction, and even longer to change the situation on the ground. But this process won't start until we elect pro-housing pro-density leaders. And yet we don't, at least not to the scale necessary to make meaningful change. So, yeah, frustrating.

Dicey

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2020, 02:56:52 PM »
And yet we keep re-electing the same folks to office with the same failed policies.
This kind of statement is bullshit kind of frustrating. Do you think the mere act of getting elected to a local/state/federal office gives the newly elected a magic wand to scrap everything and start over? Because it absolutely does not. Electeds inherit an existing system. Many elements of that system were put in place by majority vote. Just because someone wins an election doesn't give them carte blanche to scrap everything and do whatever they* want. Nothing is simple and everything involves compromise. It's the way of democracy.

I stand by my comments, frustrating as they may be :) Of course I'm not naive about institutional inertia, and fully agree that a new leader cannot turn the ship on a dime. My comments were in the context of broken housing policy, an area I know quite well after spending a lot of time going back into the local news archives from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. You know what? Housing policy wasn't always broken. What broke it? Electing a bunch of no-growth leaders over the course of many years. Apparently elections do have consequences. And so housing policy in my old home town has been dysfunctional for at least 4 decades now...40 years!! So absolutely, no one person can fix 40 years of bad (elitist, anti-green, anti-MMM) policy. It will take many leaders many years to change direction, and even longer to change the situation on the ground. But this process won't start until we elect pro-housing pro-density leaders. And yet we don't, at least not to the scale necessary to make meaningful change. So, yeah, frustrating.
In my place of residence, the no-growthers were the actual citizens, not the electeds. A measure was introduced and passed, including a height limit, which still stands. At about the same time, a different group, though with some overlap,  started lobbying for, fundraising, and ultimately purchasing acres of land to become dedicated Open Space. As a result, my area has one of the highest percentages of Open Space in the urban part of the state. It's lovely, but less available land and lower height limits have created very high housing costs. Different interests, from citizens with noble intent, created this shortage out of their own admirable do-gooding, not because of the elected. See the difference?

And yes, my electeds are working to improve the situation, primarily by encouraging higher density housing in transit corridors. Every damn proposal is met by screaming Nimbys. Parents have the nerve to whine that the city is unaffordable for their children. Then when it's time for them to downsize, they sell their house for the absolute most they can get. Naturally, they fail to see the irony.

FINate

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2020, 09:50:55 PM »
And yet we keep re-electing the same folks to office with the same failed policies.
This kind of statement is bullshit kind of frustrating. Do you think the mere act of getting elected to a local/state/federal office gives the newly elected a magic wand to scrap everything and start over? Because it absolutely does not. Electeds inherit an existing system. Many elements of that system were put in place by majority vote. Just because someone wins an election doesn't give them carte blanche to scrap everything and do whatever they* want. Nothing is simple and everything involves compromise. It's the way of democracy.

I stand by my comments, frustrating as they may be :) Of course I'm not naive about institutional inertia, and fully agree that a new leader cannot turn the ship on a dime. My comments were in the context of broken housing policy, an area I know quite well after spending a lot of time going back into the local news archives from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. You know what? Housing policy wasn't always broken. What broke it? Electing a bunch of no-growth leaders over the course of many years. Apparently elections do have consequences. And so housing policy in my old home town has been dysfunctional for at least 4 decades now...40 years!! So absolutely, no one person can fix 40 years of bad (elitist, anti-green, anti-MMM) policy. It will take many leaders many years to change direction, and even longer to change the situation on the ground. But this process won't start until we elect pro-housing pro-density leaders. And yet we don't, at least not to the scale necessary to make meaningful change. So, yeah, frustrating.
In my place of residence, the no-growthers were the actual citizens, not the electeds. A measure was introduced and passed, including a height limit, which still stands. At about the same time, a different group, though with some overlap,  started lobbying for, fundraising, and ultimately purchasing acres of land to become dedicated Open Space. As a result, my area has one of the highest percentages of Open Space in the urban part of the state. It's lovely, but less available land and lower height limits have created very high housing costs. Different interests, from citizens with noble intent, created this shortage out of their own admirable do-gooding, not because of the elected. See the difference?

And yes, my electeds are working to improve the situation, primarily by encouraging higher density housing in transit corridors. Every damn proposal is met by screaming Nimbys. Parents have the nerve to whine that the city is unaffordable for their children. Then when it's time for them to downsize, they sell their house for the absolute most they can get. Naturally, they fail to see the irony.

I see the difference. But what's that saying... voters get the government they deserve, or something like that. The electeds may not be personally motivated by a no-growth agenda, but you can be sure they are very aware of the demands of constituents. Therefore lots of nice-sounding talk like "we support affordable housing, just not this specific project" but pay attention long enough and it's obvious that no project is ever good enough. It's a muddled mess of saying one thing but doing the opposite. Other than not having a spine (which, admittedly, is not a good election winning strategy), it's not really the electeds fault. They are doing the will of voters. I'm just pointing out that voters in these areas are pushing for very anti-MMM housing policy.

The YIMBY group I was involved with made a big push just to show up to planning and city council meetings to speak in support of housing, because no one did this previously. Elected officials always felt like they were sticking their necks out any time they supported any type of housing. Writing letters, speaking up in general in support of housing, and pretty much anything to make it about real people. Like, teachers and public servants, and moms and dads... actual people who need housing.

In my area things started out so well in the 1970s. There was an intentional movement to avoid urban sprawl, to preserve green space while accommodating growth by increasing density to make a more walkable city. But this was co-opted starting in the 1980s, and the local "environmental" movement went from trying to save Nature to instead trying to save the view of Nature from my house. I get it, if one spends $1M on a house with a view there's a lot of incentive to preserve that value. I just vehemently disagree with it. And yes, it's sadly ironic when the same folks need to downsize, or their kids are priced out of their home town.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2020, 09:52:46 PM by FINate »

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2020, 07:45:05 AM »

I see the difference. But what's that saying... voters get the government they deserve, or something like that. The electeds may not be personally motivated by a no-growth agenda, but you can be sure they are very aware of the demands of constituents. Therefore lots of nice-sounding talk like "we support affordable housing, just not this specific project" but pay attention long enough and it's obvious that no project is ever good enough. It's a muddled mess of saying one thing but doing the opposite. Other than not having a spine (which, admittedly, is not a good election winning strategy), it's not really the electeds fault. They are doing the will of voters. I'm just pointing out that voters in these areas are pushing for very anti-MMM housing policy.

The YIMBY group I was involved with made a big push just to show up to planning and city council meetings to speak in support of housing, because no one did this previously. Elected officials always felt like they were sticking their necks out any time they supported any type of housing. Writing letters, speaking up in general in support of housing, and pretty much anything to make it about real people. Like, teachers and public servants, and moms and dads... actual people who need housing.

In my area things started out so well in the 1970s. There was an intentional movement to avoid urban sprawl, to preserve green space while accommodating growth by increasing density to make a more walkable city. But this was co-opted starting in the 1980s, and the local "environmental" movement went from trying to save Nature to instead trying to save the view of Nature from my house. I get it, if one spends $1M on a house with a view there's a lot of incentive to preserve that value. I just vehemently disagree with it. And yes, it's sadly ironic when the same folks need to downsize, or their kids are priced out of their home town.

Iím intrigued by this YIMBY group that you were a part of. How was it structured? Any lessons learned?

FINate

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2020, 09:48:05 AM »
Iím intrigued by this YIMBY group that you were a part of. How was it structured? Any lessons learned?

As far as I could tell it was an informal structure with de facto leaders organized over Slack. Though by the time it really got going we were already committed to relocating, so I intentionally limited my involvement.* My main takeaway was to make housing all about people. I'm an engineer by training, with a fair amount of college level economics, so wonky government reports about the root causes of the housing crisis speak to me personally (and helped solidify our decision to relocate) but the average voter does not care, too much math. So make it about people, the effects on people, and the real world consequences of trying to "save" a place by excluding others. And also, how incompatible this is with emphatically professed progressive values. It's easy to demonize "evil" developers accused of paving over paradise, but few people want to argue for making the lives of single moms even more difficult. And get interested people together just to talk and socialize about housing (something I also suck at), because in this area new development was taboo such that people were afraid to even talk about it, so although there were pockets of support in the community for more housing it was very much fragmented and isolated. Just meeting other like-minded folks is encouraging, and gives people the courage to speak up in public in support of the cause.

*To Dicey's point earlier in this thread, we decided to relocate in part because our kids were getting older and it was obvious that, even if elections started going in a pro-housing direction, it would still take a decade or more to affect meaningful change. By then our kids would be young adults faced with the terrible options of failing to launch, or moving away from friends/family at a stage of life that's already precarious. This was not a hypothetical, many friends had gone before us and their kids all ran into this. And if nothing else, we want our kids to experience living in a different place and climate, because there was too much of a "this is the bestest place ever, I could never live anywhere else!" attitude that pigeon-holes many into a lifetime of financial struggle. We have a tiny bit of survivor's guilt about abandoning the fight. But on the other hand, housing was something I advocated for for 20+ years, so... I think we made the right decision for our family. Time will tell.

Catbert

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2020, 10:34:36 AM »
For those interested in YIMBY and California housing policy, try reading Golden State: Fighting for Housing in America by Conor Dougherty.

One proposed housing development discussed at length in the book was finally approved this year (after the publication of the book) after only ~9 years of haggling with local groups and government. Not completed, not broken ground just fighting for approval to build homes.

Syonyk

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2020, 04:39:15 PM »
We are building a new house. Our council made us to install mandatory electric vehicle charger in the garage. $1000 wasted as we are about to buy two brand new petrol cars and drive them for 20 years (our previous 2 cars are 23 and 20 years old).

Sorry... let me get this straight.  You're building a new house, for presumably a couple hundred grand, you're buying two brand new gas burners (presumably not looking anywhere near TCO of gas vs electric), and you're upset about being required to put in a $1000 charger because it's wasting money?

Retrofits of EV charger circuits often cost quite some multiple of that depending on power service to the house and such, so... I don't really have a huge problem with it being part of new construction.  It's far less wasteful than trying to put it in later and having to rip open walls to run conduit, replace panels for higher capacity, etc.  Not something I'll let myself get worried about, and given the fountain of waste that two brand new gas burners is, not something you should get terribly worked up over either.  Though I'd hope they're just requiring a 50A circuit run with a plug, not an actual hard wired EV charger - a 14-50 (at least in the US, not sure what you've got over there) is useful for a wide range of things, not just EV charging, and with the newer codes and chargers, you can hang two vehicles off a single 50A circuit and let the chargers sort out the details of how to route power to avoid overloading the circuit.

The formulas for calculating wear and tear has a factor for axle load. Its not linear, its not squared, it's not even cubed. Its raised to the power of four. So weight is largely irrelevant until it suddenly explodes. So heavy traffic is pretty much resposible for all wear and tear and personal car almost zero. The general assumption is somehwere in the 98-99% coming from heavy vehicles.

Yeah, a single overweight dump truck rolling 120k lb on 3 axles (80k is the typical limit in the US without an awful lot of paperwork and extra axles) will do more damage to the road in one trip than a car would do in a lifetime of driving back and forth on the road.  Though the heavies are good on gravel.

With an EV the problem is rather that the brakes must be replaced due to being used way too little, not that they wear out due to higher weight of the car. I almost never use my brake pedal (Tesla @2.5 tonnes weight) as the regenerative breaking is generally sufficient for everything except when I have to make a sudden breaking due to something unforeseen.

I make a habit of doing a stop from speed down a hill (conveniently, the approach to our driveway) in neutral with our Volt on a regular basis for exactly that reason - run the brakes enough to keep them from seizing up.  By then, I've got the house made, energy-wise, so there's no real harm in it.  And enough brake use (firmly, if it's just me in the car and nobody is behind me) to keep them limber.  I hate brake work. :p

==========

In general, I honestly think a lot of the complaints here about road taxes and such are pretty absurd.  You like roads?  Great, you have to pay for them somehow.  There can be differences of opinion on the best way to pay for them, but the reality is that "I drive an EV, I should get to use the roads totally for free!" is not a long term sustainable method of funding roads, period.  "I emit less point of use pollution and generally less lifecycle emissions" is a fine argument too, but separate it from road funding.  Gas taxes are not a carbon tax, in any sort, so don't pretend they are.

While I'm happy to take advantage of what's offered, it's a tiny bit absurd (IMO) just how many ways there are to use money to take advantage of systems to then save money in the long run at other people's cost.  I've put in solar, and will, after about this spring when I catch up from winter, not have a power bill for 25 years (grandfathered in net metering) beyond the occasional small bit.  Connection fees that pretty much cover the cost of my meter and not the transformer, then paying nothing for power.  Fine with it, works out for me, but it's not exactly a great deal for those who can't drop $30k on solar.  Same with EVs, higher up front cost for lower operating costs, great trade, if you've got the coin to do it.  So I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for roads, though I would far rather have it be a per-mile fee (NOT tracked as I go, TYVM, just based on registration and some sort of annual monthly payment option so it wasn't a single lump sum for those who don't like such things).

I've no particular interest in ensuring I can stick it to people with less money, but, I suppose, back to your regularly scheduled bitching.

FINate

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #59 on: November 30, 2020, 12:14:32 PM »
For those interested in YIMBY and California housing policy, try reading Golden State: Fighting for Housing in America by Conor Dougherty.

One proposed housing development discussed at length in the book was finally approved this year (after the publication of the book) after only ~9 years of haggling with local groups and government. Not completed, not broken ground just fighting for approval to build homes.

I read Golden State Golden Gate yesterday. Great summary of the long arc of California's engineered housing crisis. Painful and all too familiar, an honest assessment that avoids trite excuses and easy answers. The author attempts to land the plane on a positive note whereas I'm decidedly more pessimistic. I just wonder how much worse it has to get before we stop rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic? Thanks for the recommendation!

honeybbq

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #60 on: November 30, 2020, 01:45:27 PM »
Although there are sometimes extra lanes made for bikes, shouldn't bikes fund the extra lanes, even if they don't wear it out?

If cars were willing to share the road and not mow us down like an inconvenience (and would stop texting and driving) we wouldn't need bike lanes.

honeybbq

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #61 on: November 30, 2020, 01:46:16 PM »
Itís a road tax. Youíre using the roads.

If it were a road tax then it should be levied on bicyclists and ICE car drivers as well. After all, they use roads too.

This makes no sense. Bikes don't use up the roads. This is a classic anti-bike argument by people driving Hummers.

Just Joe

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #62 on: December 01, 2020, 10:55:08 AM »
Everyone benefits from bicycles. Less traffic, better general health for society, no pollution, less wear and tear on the roads, more convenience allowing people to shop locally.

GuitarStv

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #63 on: December 01, 2020, 11:54:52 AM »
Everyone benefits from bicycles. Less traffic, better general health for society, no pollution, less wear and tear on the roads, more convenience allowing people to shop locally.

Also, everyone can see my ass in spandex.  You're welcome world.  You're welcome.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Anti-Mustachian laws
« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2020, 07:48:00 PM »
Although there are sometimes extra lanes made for bikes, shouldn't bikes fund the extra lanes, even if they don't wear it out?

If cars were willing to share the road and not mow us down like an inconvenience (and would stop texting and driving) we wouldn't need bike lanes.

And if we could overcome seeing bikes as an automatic enemy, rather seeing them as part of our normal traffic experience, then politicians wouldn't need to waste money on crummy bike infrastructure* that increases our chance of turning collisions just to be able to get more points as a "bike friendly city".
Things we slow down/move over for without loosing our minds: mail trucks, school buses, turning cars, slower cars, trash in the lane, pot holes, construction vehicles, lost drivers.  Add bicycle to the list and it's like the world has ended.


*I'm a little salty at the moment. My city just did some major road construction and repainted the bike lane... where the lane line goes through the middle of the bike symbol. The "lane" isn't even wide enough for a compressed outline of a bike. SMH.