Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Taxing Billboards and Authority Angst

What goes around, comes around in so many ways here. 

Headline Today:  Billboard tax pushed by city councilman.

The (Pittsburgh) Gazette Times: Signboard Ordinance is Framed. October 28, 1911

Speaking of ancient history.   Who knew the Stadium(less) Authority was not only not planning its own demise, but actually expanding its portfolio by subsidizing "T" rides on the North Shore connector. Funny thing tough.  I presume the obvious that the Stadium Authority has some vested interest to do this because it will increase the value of parking lots it still owns on the North Side.  So getting people to use that parking will take away from Downtown parking, the biggest supplier of which is yet another public authority, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority.  So it's quasi-competition in the quasi free market of dueling public authorities in support of the Port Authority.   Maybe we need just one big meta-authority to make sense of all the other authorities?  

I do wonder what the PPA thinks of that deal since it can only hit their bottom line downward.  That and does this really mean the Stadium Authority is planning to exist in perpetuity?  Looks like it is working to self-justify a continuing stadium-less existence.  Can we at least rename it to something a bit less anachonistic?  It could be renamed the Authority formerly known as the Stadium Authority Authority.  Remarkably, that would probably be less confusing to the public.

11 Comments:

Blogger Conservative Mountaineer said...

Can never have too many public authorities.. Where else could retired politicians, defeated politicians and all their spawn go to get jobs?

[Note: Tried to think how I could insert the word 'honest' in my reply.. then realized 'honest' and 'politician' don't belong in the same sentence.. or stram of conscious thought, for that matter.. especially here in Western PA with all the Democrats.]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:03:00 AM  
Blogger Conservative Mountaineer said...

Rats.. that's 'stream', not 'stram'.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:04:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

The Stadium Authority is entangled in the North Shore development process, so it was bound to last at least as long as that was going on (and obviously it still has a long way to go).

Speaking of which, how about "Between the Stadiums Authority"? Or if you want to be snarkier, "Stadium Void Authority"?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Kind of a null space in there..

sorry.

and I really don't get the partisan comment. I guess if things were reversed Larry Dunn or Chuck McCullough would most likely be running a lot of authorities in town.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:55:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

The Stadium Void Authority sounds like a plumbing consultant for those urinal troughs. Too bad it has no chance since no authority is ever amusing on purpose.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Yeah, creating and then stuffing the authorities with friends and family has been a bipartisan affair in PA.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Alex B. said...

So this will lower the effective cost of commuting in private vehicles and reduce demand for other public transportation?? I hope at least the Port Authority is not giving the rides at a discount.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 6:32:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Does make you wonder if it works out to a net financial loss to the Port Authority. If one could calculate the cross elasticity of parking cost Downtown to transit usage you might be able to back of the envelope a number.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 6:36:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

There may be some marginal effect, but keep in mind that most people using this method to commute Downtown won't have viable all-transit alternatives, and that the number of people commuting to Downtown isn't fixed. In that sense, in the long run instead of substituting for an all-transit commute to Downtown, you may well be substituting for a car commute to somewhere else.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Dude... said...

Doesn't the Pgh Parking Authority operate the "Red 5 Garage", the 10 story tall one that's on the corner of Gen Robinson and Mazeroski (i.e. right across the street from the subway stop)? This could help that garage make money for onec.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I'd guess that the people paying $18 to park downtown do not include among their number too many people willing to pay $8 and lose an extra 30 minutes waiting for the trolley. I'd also guess that people taking transit to downtown won't gain that much by switching from an all bus trip to a car-trolley trip.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 9:47:00 AM  

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