nucklepunche wrote:I don't get why the solution is always a ban,
It isn't always a ban. Even the OP article isn't really about a ban. As the article says, "the objective of any proposed legislation seems primarily intended to alleviate urban congestion, no matter the type of vehicle." The politician that was interviewed said some quotable remark about banning SUVs and the media used it as a controversial soundbite (as the politician probably hoped they would), but the real policy makers are not looking at a ban.
It's more of a "tax them so much they do not want to drive in the city centre" sort of thing.
I don't understand why their can't be some sort of positive action. I can think of a few.
1) Deregulation of taxi services. Most cities currently limit the number of taxis on the road.
They do? I have never heard of that, but it sounds like one of those surreal things that humans do. Do you know why municipalities do that? A bit of research suggests that the main reason for such regulation is pressure from the cabbies themselves. The problem is that if you let in a large influx of workers (i.e. increase the supply of labour while keeping the demand for that labour the same) you reduce the price for that labour. Cabbies make very little money as it is. Deregulating the industry would probably make owning a taxi unprofitable.
2) Increased funding for public transit, especially buses. I do not see light rail as financially sound as buses. What I would prefer is heavy commuter rail to take people from city centers to suburbs with buses in the city centers.
I agree, but I will withhold my opinions as to which systems are best. I think that different cities will require different solutions according to their different needs.
3) Raise CAFE standards (or whatever they have in other countries).
I would not only raise fuel economy standards, but I would also make exhaust emissions regulations more stringent. I would also limit vehicles that are too large to be covered by CAFE standards to be banned from city centres unless they are there for business reasons.
The way I see it banning certain types of vehicles is unfair to the poor and unfair to businesses that depend upon them. Oh but you could all go out and buy a Prius. Oh but what if you can't afford a new prius?
Yes, this concern is also an issue that the Parisian authorities are dealing with, as I already mentioned.
Also did you know that the more efficient a product becomes the more we tend to use it. Thus fuel efficient cars tend to be driven more and thus do not actually save pollution.
Please provide evidence for this claim. Thank you.