6 Feb 2012

Green Park Pricing

I was hiking with my cousin, Dave Green, and our conversation got around to things that we DO want in parks (visitors) and what we DON'T want (cars). What emerged is what I've decided to call "Green Park Pricing," i.e., people get in free, but cars pay according to size (weight is ideal, but axles or seats is easier to count).

So a motorcycle pays, say $10. A two-seat car pays $20, a sedan pays $40 and an SUV with seats for 6 pays $60. An RV? $100.

Those fees mean that bigger cars -- less convenient cars -- pay more. It also gives people (free!) an incentive to share cars when visiting the park.*

Bottom Line: Parks are nice but traffic jams are not. Use GPP to get more people and fewer cars into parks.
* And policy matters:
God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods, but he cannot save them from fools —- only Uncle Sam can do that. -– John Muir
Muir may have relied on hoped that Uncle Sam would save the trees, but Uncle Sam also encouraged their harvest. (I can't find a nice time series on timber harvests, only that it peaked in California in 1955; many of the harvested trees were redwoods. Anyone?)