Comment of the Day: What’s Really Stalling Houston’s Drive for Smog Reduction

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT’S REALLY STALLING HOUSTON’S DRIVE FOR SMOG REDUCTION Transit Frustration“ . . . The serious ways to improve air quality in Houston are 1) to pass California emission standards for all vehicles, and 2) to install traffic light road sensors at intersections. I can’t believe how long we sit at intersections with no one moving.” [KB, commenting on Building for Baby Boomers; Revamping the Briar Club in Upper Kirby] Illustration: Lulu

10 Comment

  • Raising the tax on gasoline would be even more effective than either of those ideas. Dedicate the revenue stream to bridge/highway maintenance and we’d address two problems at once.

  • Slugline, I think it’s cute that you believe that any money forced (not given) from working tax payers ( delivery drivers, yard maintenance people, parents taking children to activities, home and business service personnel – I could go on) would ever be fully or even partially dedicated to anything but welfare for dead beats and slush funds. I used to be just like you. Try being an entrepreneur and reality will set you straight. Sorry man.

  • @j, has a very good point. The vast majority of all our taxes go to SS, Medicare and the military industrial complex: the largest bunch of dead beats and slush funds known to mankind.
    Rather ignorant to assume that all those “working people” you just listed don’t have high automobile maintenance costs that are artificially elevated due to Houston’s profoundly horrible roads (these are actual facts by the way). Or that they enjoy wasting large amounts of time sitting on freeways due to inadequate infrastructure cuz TXDOT too broke to build a road with additional capacity for more than a 5-yr timeline.
    Gas taxes were last touched in 1993. Who knows how much more efficient everyone’s drive could be today if you actually pegged it to inflation or some other target like we do for most everything in the accounting world.

  • I’d happily pay $5/gallon for gas if I knew the tax was actually going to road and infrastructure improvements. But yeah – if history tells us anything, it’s that gas tax money worms its way into budgets that have nothing to do with mobility.

  • J — Funny thing, I used to think like you as well. :) Anyway, I’m not worried one bit about this Republican-dominated Texas legislature redirecting any gas tax money to welfare. That’s a good one, though.

  • The city should install FREE L2 EV chargers around town in popular places (i.e. Discovery Green) and advertise the fact that you can buy a used Leaf w/ 10k miles for $9k (the price of a golf cart) now. In town, that vehicle suits 100% of my family’s needs, has zero pollution, and has practically zero maintenance. FREE charging would encourage people to take the plunge, would help working family’s with reducing commuting costs… and since a lot of lower income families drive older gas guzzlers that pollute more… it would cut down on smog tremendously.

  • While I’m not a fan of tax-and-spend policies, raising the gasoline tax AND dedicating it to road/bridge maintenance can be effective. Any realistic look at gasoline taxes will show that we pay less per unit (gallon/liter) than other nations yet we have more road miles to maintain. Plus, the static gas tax hasn’t kept up with inflation over time.
    Bottom line: I wouldn’t mind a 5-cent boost if it all went to road maintenance. Build in another 5-cent boost in 5 years.

  • Traffic signals all over Houston are poorly synchronized, causing cars to momentarily (or longer) stop at an intersection. This is a relatively inexpensive way to increase traffic flow and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

  • Houston’s air quality is improving and has improved drastically over the last few decades. I hate the way the Feds hand out money, but at this point there is no stopping them so I will take my piece of the pie however i can get it.

  • @Innerlooped – There is no such thing as “zero emission” transportation. Everything has an impact. The massive amount of electricity needed to match the energy in gasoline would have to come from somewhere. By switching to electric vehicles, you are just shifting the pollution from the tailpipe of a car to the smokestack of a power plant. Also, electricity is not given away for free – someone would have to pay for all that free juice.