Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Better Not Hear Mr. Wendell Complaining About The Condition Of Our Streets

Spokesman-Review Letter to the Editor
Too Many Fees

Once again, the politicos have stomped on the will of the people. Didn’t we, in fact, vote for $30 vehicle license tabs?
Now, we have a filing fee in addition to the road construction and maintenance fee, a vehicle weight fee? Does that include overweight people? How does my motorcycle compare to a fully loaded pickup or RV? Shouldn’t a weight fee be based on the actual weight of the vehicle?
Then a license service fee to support the computer system (I bet you thought that computers were saving us money) and a Transportation Benefit District fee (sounds like double jeopardy to me). And, of course, asking for a parks donation (good luck with that!).
Please note that I did purchase a Discover Pass on my own.

Tim Eyman, help! Where are you? We need someone to tackle these fees.
Wendell Smith

Thoughts? Comments?


Charles Hansen said...

Well they need to get money to pay for the roads somewhere, but as I have said before I dislike flat fees. I really think they need fees based on miles driven or more gas tax to pay for roads. I do know that some of the fees are for mass transit, and that mass transit is not allowed any gas tax money.

SRTC Staff said...

And I understand that no one wants to pay more taxes but things just don't fix themselves. I think a lot of people agree with you Charles, on the fees based on miles driven, because a lot of talk at the elected official-level is going that direction. It does seem to make more sense to pay in proportion to how much 'damage' you do.

Rachel said...

I like the idea of paying by weight and by mileage. Too bad there's no way to detect how many miles people are driving with their studded tires on.

I like this because it incentivizes making good choices in which vehicle you buy, and maybe even in how often you buy it. For some government-provided things, I think flat-fees are best, but for something that people have lots of room to make choices with, like what they drive and how often, a system that has you pay based on individual use/wear makes sense.

Also, I wish we could see more TBD dollars going to much-needed, much-neglected non-car things, like repairing existing sidewalks... and maybe even infilling all the areas that don't have any. At least bike infrastructure is not something we already have lots of that's fallen in to disrepair... those poor sidewalks on the on the hand... they look like no one has cared about them since the 1950s...

Rachel said...

I mean, "in how often you drive it."

SRTC Staff said...

Rachel- there's some good news about the sidewalk situation. SRTC is taking over the sidewalk inventory that was originally done by WSU. The inventory shows the condition of all the sidewalks within STA's service area, as well as what areas don't have sidewalks. It was created but never maintained due to a lack of funds. We expect to take it over in early 2014 and start to update it. There are funding sources available specifically for non-motorized transportation projects, and this inventory will help to identify priority projects to apply for funds for.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.