Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Save Coins and Make Change

Since driving habits have been on my mind, this AP story jumped out at me this morning:

Salt Lake City- Utah’s largest is joining a small, but growing, list of municipalities nationwide that offer free parking as an incentive for people to buy fuel-efficient vehicles.

Salt Lake City is offering free metered parking to residents whose vehicles get 50 miles per gallon, have low emissions or are powered by an alternative fuel. Friday was the first day permits for the program were issued.

Utah already offers an income tax credit of up to $3,000 for residents who buy clean fuel vehicles and some gas-electric hybrids. It also allows those vehicles to use high occupancy vehicle lanes.

Read the rest of the story here.

I think this is a fabulous idea as it's obvious that we need to offer every kind of incentive available in order to start changing the prevailing habits that are sucking life from our culture and earth. I think an even better idea is to pursue ways to re-design communities to make alternative transportation options available and attractive. Lots of people would like to leave their cars at home even if their sole motivation is saving gas money. They just can't get to work without them due to the location of businesses and lack of alternative transportation. In the meantime, this kind of incentive is a glimmer of hope: some local governments are taking a step in the right direction. We each need to encourage these steps in our own municipalities. It's the perfect subject for a letter to the editor of your local paper. I'm off to write mine.


  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger breadchick said…

    I would love it if we could get Taxachuessets to do something like this but this is the state that retaxes us every year for owning the car in the guise of an Excise tax based upon the value of your car. Since the hybrid car is $10,000 or more than regular car, the savings Utah would offer would be negated. But, I'm all for giving the ole College try. Something I did for my direct reports to help with saving on gas money is I let them telecommute one day a week if they want to. I haven't had anyone not take me up on the offer yet and considering what we do in my department, there really is no reason we can't telecommute most days. Another idea to save gas and increase quality of life.

  • At 12:09 PM, Blogger Andrea Rusin said…

    I telecommute when possible and I try to ride my bike to work when it's possible. Well, I suppose TECHNICALLY it's possible every day, since Dave does it every day. But at some level of cold-and-ice-and-wet, I draw the line.

    As a kind of game with myself, I try to see if I can fill the gas tank only once a month. It almost never works that way, but I try.

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger lauren said…

    I think that telecommuting is a good, practical way to get people to drive less. My father-in-law and I were chatting the other day about how many resources could be saved by working a four day work week. Telecommuting gets you to the same place and is less radical for corporations -- plus it allows you to bake bread while working! That said, it's more recruiting pitch than reality at my work.


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