The Antiplanner is flying to Salt Lake City today to speak at a legislative forum tomorrow sponsored by the Sutherland Institute. The topic will be Utah’s 30-year transportation plan. Since the Antiplanner is skeptical about our ability to know things even five years in advance, you can imagine what I’ll be saying about a 30-year plan.
Thursday, I’ll be in Olympia, Washington to speak at a Senate Governmental Operations Committee work session about growth-management planning. My main message will be that growth-management created many more problems than it solved. Most important, according to Coldwell Banker, the price of a 2,200-square-foot house in Seattle is more than three times the price of a similarly sized house in Houston.
Friday I’ll be in Lake Oswego, Oregon, talking about a proposed “high-capacity transit” line to Tigard, Oregon. The term high-capacity transit is a joke, as Portland’s light-rail system can’t run more than two cars in a train (due to the city’s short blocks) and no more than 20 trains an hour. At 150 people per car, that’s 6,000 people per hour. A good busway could move nearly ten times that many people.
In any case, if I get a chance, I’ll try to post some updates over the next few days.
The Antiplanner is flying to Washington DC today to testify at a hearing tomorrow on federal grants for transit capital projects, also known as New Starts. My testimony will summarize my recent paper on the subject: that the New Starts grant-making process gives transit agencies incentives to choose high-cost solutions; that buses are superior to rails in almost every place agencies want to build new rail lines; and that transit riders suffer when agencies cannibalize their bus systems to pay for the rails.
A winter storm has cancelled and delayed flights in some parts of the country, but so far the Pacific Northwest remains clear if a bit cold. Travel safe and have a happy Thanksgiving wherever you are.
The Antiplanner is flying to Boise today to speak to Boise State University Students for Liberty. I’ll be talking about public lands and wildfire issues tonight at 7 pm in the student union. If you are in Boise, I hope to see you there.
The Antiplanner is flying to Washington, DC, today for the Preserving the American Dream conference. Postings may be thin next week as this conference will consume much of my time.
Coincident with the conference, the Cato Institute will release my latest paper on the follies of sustainability planning. Readers can get a preview of the paper, which argues that sustainability planning is not a cost-effective way of saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or solving other problems.
The Antiplanner gave a presentation on property rights in Ottawa on Saturday, September 14, and a presentation on Plan Bay Area in Novato on Tuesday, September 17. The Ottawa presentation is downloadable as an 11.6-MB PDF. The Bay Area presentation is downloadable as a 16-MB PDF or a 57-MB zip file containing the PowerPoint show plus two videos of driverless cars.
Any one is free to distribute, use, or borrow from these presentations. I make every effort to use photographs that are in the public domain or under a creative commons license, but may have accidentally included some that are copyrighted, so it is best to try to find the photo’s origin before publishing the photos.
Tomorrow, the Antiplanner is flying to Ottawa to participate in a conference on property rights. After that, I’ll fly to San Francisco to speak twice on Tuesday, September 17.
First, over lunch, I’ll speak to Novato Republican Women in Marin County. Second, in the evening, I’ll speak at a public meeting in Lafayette. Both presentations will be about Plan Bay Area. If you are in either place, I look forward to seeing you there.
The Antiplanner is traveling to Washington DC today where I’ll testify tomorrow before the House Public Lands Subcommittee on federal land recreation fees. By an extraordinary coincidence, tomorrow the Cato Institute will release my policy paper recommending that Congress allow the Forest Service, Park Service, and other public land agencies to charge recreationists fair market value to use the public lands.
On Wednesday, I’ll participate at a Hill briefing on transportation issues. By a not-so-extraordinary coincidence, Cato will release my new policy paper arguing that the “New Starts” program of federal funding for new rail transit projects gives transit agencies incentives to develop high-cost, rather than low-cost solutions for transit. The paper reviews, among other plans, Maryland’s Purple Line light-rail proposal and shows that it will cause more congestion, use more energy, and emit more pollution than not building it–points that should already be familiar to Antiplanner readers.
The Antiplanner will be in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho today speaking at a conference that seeks to find a balance between property rights and clean water. Golf courses, waterfront homes, and other developments along Lake Coeur d’Alene spill nitrogen, phosphorous, and other nutrients into the lake, leading to algal blooms that can cause serious problems.
For sale: four bedrooms, two baths, comes complete with tradable pollution permit.
To prevent this, some propose that the county regulate or limit new development. But the Antiplanner argues that any regulations should apply equally to existing developments. Instead of regulation, I propose a system of tradable pollution rights, in which every waterfront property owner starts out with a right to a tiny amount of pollution. Those who don’t pollute could sell to those who do, and those who pollute in excess of their rights would be severely fined.