Recently, in St. Louis Magazine, Ray Hartmann wrote two fantastic articles about subjects that the Show-Me Institute has rigorously blogged about: red light cameras and alternative funding options for the Metropolitan Zoological Park & Museum District (MZD). In his column, “Bad Photo Op” (not available online), he addresses the unintended effects that red light cameras have, and in “>”There’s No Such Thing as a Free Zoo,” he tackles inequitable, outdated funding structure that has put Saint Louis’ cultural arts institutions in financial “jeopardy.”
He makes a great point regarding this latter topic, stating:
Simply put, St. Louis’ cultural institutions need to do what almost all of their counterparts across the country do: Tap into the tens of millions of tourist dollars that are annually unrealized here because the institutions are free to all visitors.
In his article about red light cameras, Hartmann highlights three separate studies that found an increase in crashes stemming from red light cameras, as opposed to the decrease in accidents that might be expected. He also brings up another interesting point: In Dallas, Texas, red light cameras were forced to cease operation because they weren’t generating enough revenue to sustain themselves. Hartmann asks, “If one assumes the cameras were there to promote safety, wouldn’t operating at a deficit be worthwhile if the cameras were ‘working’ so well that citizens were obeying the law?”