Sunday, March 11, 2018

Of course Scott Wiener supports Congestion Pricing

The proposed no-go zone

Of course State Senator Scott Wiener supports congestion Pricing. Anyone following his inexorable rise here in Progressive Land isn't surprised (Drivers might soon need to pay to enter downtown San Francisco).

Wiener fancies himself a political visionary, which is why he supports digging subways under San Francisco at a billion dollars a mile and the dumb high-speed rail project that, fortunately, is likely to be dumped by the next governor when Jerry "I-like-trains" Brown is termed out next year. 

To Wiener the money for these projects is mere "pixie dust" to be provided by taxpayers.

Like President Trump, Wiener also has an uncomfortable relationship with the facts, since he lies when it suits him---on CEQA and on the Geary BRT project.

Wiener is a crude elitist who early in his career in SF tried to water down our initiative rights. (See also Wiener's ploy out to save City Hall's face.)

One intractable reality that Wiener and supporters of congestion pricing face: when the people of San Francisco are polled, they overwhelmingly reject the idea of paying a fee to drive downtown in their own city.

In 2016 city voters rejected the idea 72% to 24%.
In 2015 they rejected it 76% to 20%.
In 2014 they rejected it 72% 21%.
In 2013 they rejected it 69% to 26%.
In 2012 they rejected it 75% to 23%.
In 2011 they rejected it 78% to 19%.
In 2009 they rejected it 72% to 10%.

For some reason, the Chamber of Commerce didn't ask a congestion pricing question in 2017 and 2018. Maybe they thought that, in light of past poll results, the issue is a dead letter. Wrong! Like all religious fanatics, the anti-car folks keep coming at you.

Even a pilot program for the idea seems fanciful when you consider that restaurants, theaters, hotels, retail businesses, etc., are unlikely to welcome the idea of actually discouraging people from driving downtown San Francisco by charging them a fee.

But the anti-car policies that City Hall has been implementing for more than ten years require that anyone who drives a wicked motor vehicle in the city must be penalized whenever possible. Doing so not only punishes those who violate City Hall's anti-car ideology it raises a lot of money to pay for the city's growing bureaucracy that had 39,634 employees as of 2016.

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