Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Too Many Regulations

I am always amazed at the diligence of any bureaucracy, including ACHD, to continually come up with new regulations and laws and guidance and policies. One would think that since there is pretty much nothing new under the sun, that we would have been all regulated out by now and simply need to enforce the regulation, laws, guidance and policies currently on the books. But no.

In fact, at the meeting on May 30, 2010, our legal counsel informed us that they were working on a new policy for something, and I have to apologize, I can't even remember what it was. But it was a replacement for something that is already in place. It seems that any nuances would have been thought about before.

This reminds me of two dumb things from my Boise City Council past.

The Capitol Terrace parking garage in downtown Boise was constructed of concrete and had 4 open sides over the second story. The building which houses the Capitol Terrace condos to the east of the garage, was built a few years later. Since the new building would close off one of the four sides, the Boise Building Department in conjunction with the Fire Department decided that the concrete garage needed a sprinkler system I guess to keep the concrete building from burning down and catching the concrete condo building from catching fire as well. A deluge system at the doorways between the two buildings was not enough. I thought this new "regulation" was stupid and wasteful then and I still can't think why it was needed.

The second was the regulation of taxis in the City of Boise. There was an issue with taxis that really had some safety issues and some cab drivers that looked like ragamuffins. So the City Clerk at the time came up with some standard dress items like no tank tops, and some safety check requirements for the cabs. But she went further and called for a limit to the number of cabs allowed in Boise. I suppose she read how successful limiting medallions in NYC has been in keeping the cost of driving a cab down. Anyway, when this item came before us, I wondered why we cared how many cabs there were in Boise. At the time, and probably still now, driving a cab was/is a tough gig and no one was/is going to be a millionaire doing it. This would have been an unnecessary regulation that a bureaucracy for some reason decided would be a good idea.

Sometime further regulations are needed, but enough thought should be given so the issue does not keep having to be revisited time and again because something was left out. It might also be helpful if for every new regulation, two needed to be rescinded.


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