AAA Still Up to Its Old Tricks Fighting Progressive Transport Policy

A representative of the American Automobile Association was a keynote speaker at this week’s National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., the annual gathering of bicycle advocates. There the organization debuted a heartwarming new video reminding drivers to share the road with cyclists.

A spokesman for AAA says not forcing developers to build an arbitrary amount of parking is "dangerous for D.C." Image: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/ddotphotos/4774162801/##DDOTDC Flickr##

Meanwhile, also in D.C., AAA representatives are fighting a series of smart parking reforms. AAA spokesman Lon Anderson told members of the media that a proposal to allow developers to decide how much parking to build, instead of being compelled by law to build a minimum amount, is “a dangerous proposal” that “threatens the future of Washington, D.C.”

Matt Yglesias at Slate annihilates this argument:

Almost 100 percent of Washington-area residents like to sleep on a soft comfortable surface at night. But there’s no regulatory requirement that residential buildings contain mattresses. The lack of mattress mandates doesn’t mean people are forced to sleep on the floor. It means that if people want to sleep on a mattress—and they generally do—they need to go buy one. That’s why there are mattress stores. Insofar as people want to park cars—and lets make no mistake, lots of people want to park cars—they will pay for the privilege, and property developers will provide parking spaces.

What’s at issue here is whether non-parkers should be forced to offer a cross-subsidy to parkers. The case against such a subsidy seems strong. It encourages extra traffic congestion and extra pollution, as well as inducing some kind of deadweight loss in the form of stifled real estate development.

Yglesias also points out that AAA’s assertion that “roughly 70 percent of Washington-area commuters drive” is very misleading, since fewer than half of residents of D.C. proper commute by car.

  • Anonymous

    Leopard, spots, etc.

  • Hey, we could all switch to Better World Auto club, they offer tows an also bike towing, climate offset and more! There is a AAA discount, too..

  • Better World is from Portland, http://www.betterworldclub.com/

  • Keith Laughlin

    Not only did Lon Anderson claim that this was “dangerous” for Washington, he also trotted out the old canard that anything to create a more balanced transportation system is a “war on cars.”

  • Manufacturer and exporter of Plastic Security seals,container Security seals,and pull tight seal,including padlock seal,Twist seals, bolt seals, high Security seals,which all meet rohs and pahs asking. llkjihygjhfg

  • Question- why not limit auto registrations in certain areas? Otherwise this a sop for developers to not construct more parking so they can build even more dwellings which invariably do bring in people with autos.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Litmus Test for Transport Spending: Will It Benefit Our Kids?

|
Here’s an important consideration in how we expend our public resources that doesn’t find its way into your conventional cost-benefit analysis. Craig Benjamin at the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Bike Blog writes that every transportation investment should be held to this one standard: Next week our representatives in Olympia will introduce a multi-billion dollar package of transportation […]

AAA Revives Offensive Against Safer D.C. Streets

|
AAA has been known, at times, to take positions in direct opposition to cyclists’ safety. Then when cyclists call AAA out on it, AAA starts backpedalingfast, assuring us all how much they love people who bike. But the organization is sticking with its ongoing battle against  safer streets for cycling in Washington, D.C. As David Alpert […]

Downtown Louisville Drowning in a Sea of Parking

|
How’s this for a bad cliche: Downtown Louisville staked its revitalization on a megaproject, and things didn’t work out as expected. The megaproject was called Museum Plaza, a 62-story tower that the Wall Street Journal once named one of the three most exciting projects in the world. Except the developers of Museum Plaza pulled out […]

Minneapolis May Drop Parking Minimums Near Transit

|
Whether you own a car or not, if you live in a city, there’s a good chance you pay for parking. Building parking spots is expensive, but most cities require developers to build a certain amount of parking per residence, driving up the cost of housing. Nick Magrino at Streets.mn reports that Minneapolis is rethinking that […]

Shoup: Cato HQ the Perfect Lab for Reforming Commuter Parking Subsidies

|
Last week we published a reply from UCLA planning professor Donald Shoup to Cato Institute senior fellow Randal O’Toole, in which Shoup clarified his positions on parking policy and explained several ways in which government regulations favor the provision of free parking. In response, O’Toole ran this post on the Cato@Liberty blog. Streetsblog is pleased […]