I would be remiss to write about being carless in St. Louis and not mention that you, St. Louisans, should vote yes on Proposition A on April 6th. If you are a city dweller, I encourage you to nudge your county friends about it. (If you’d like to volunteer, head over to the Vote Yes April 6 blog.)
Yes, it would slightly raise the sales tax. And yes, the current administration in the city has taken great strides to restructure the tax burden into one that is much, much more regressive and pro-business, from the elimination of the entertainment tax to the unprecedented amounts of public money being given to support private development (i.e. Paul McKee’s insane $390 million TIF on top of an already wobbling budget). That said, transit is too important for the health of the region to let this one go. We need a city and a county that serves all St. Louisans, and such a region first and foremost is a region where everyone can get to work and conduct their errands and social lives. Really, would you choose to live in a city where the basic act of getting around to carry out your daily life was unnecessarily a huge challenge?
Even if you are not a transit rider, as they say, a rising tide boosts all MetroLinks, er, boats…. Transit is important for the health of the entire region, not just for those who rely on it. The economic wellbeing of our population at large helps us all. Who rides transit? People without cars, tourists, people with doctor’s appointments, moms, dads, commuters, people who are disabled, daytrippers, sports fans, promgoers, people who’ve had one drink too many, students, shoppers, nearly everyone. Who benefits? We all do.
If St. Louis hopes to retain its population and for that matter its relevance, it is going to have to think about being green and sustainable. Good, workable public transit is one of the most basic and important ways a region can do that.
YES on Prop A!