The UC Davis Transportation and Parking Services recently encouraged everyone to consider alternative transportation. People should walk and bike. People should ride-share. As a result, people’s health will improve, traffic congestion will decrease, fossil fuel use will decline, air quality will improve and global warming slows slightly. UC Davis could potentially set aside less land for parking lots.
What a win-win-win scenario. Indeed, the campus community drove fewer cars.
But fewer drivers mean lower parking revenues. Revenues plummeted. So, TAPS has hatched a plan to cover the shortfall by increasing fees and fines. Chancellor Linda Katehi approved TAPS to raise the daily visitor permit rate by $1 (from $8 to $9) effective Aug. 1.
The plan includes increasing the citation fines for parking violations by $5 with no pretension to promote law and order.
So, I worry that TAPS worries too much about its economic plight and has lost sight of the larger economy and the espoused Principles of Community of UC Davis as a “foremost institution of learning and teaching, committed to serving the needs of society.”
To help TAPS avoid Levitt and Dubners’ freaky trap of better-educated people being better extremists, TAPS should just reverse its policy and encourage everyone to gas up, fatten up and pollute up. Let’s have a festive gas-up day once a month! That way, everyone could celebrate TAPS’ message that the increased fines also help support a state-mandated surcharge to fund courthouse construction throughout the state.
Hear, hear to the good people of UC Davis. You’ve done well. But you should have known better than to trust TAPS to play anything but taps.