Friday, October 21, 2011

Congestion Pricing Only True Road to Relief

How do you relieve traffic congestion? The assumption is that you either need to build more roads, more transit, or both. And most of the time, this pits transit advocates against road advocates. Well, maybe neither is necessary.

In a new study published in this month's American Economic Review and reported by Eric Jaffe for The Atlantic Cities called The Only Hope for Reducing Traffic, researchers contend that congestion pricing is the only solution to decrease congestion.

Two economists from the University of Toronto analyzed data and road capacity in U.S. cities from 1983 to 2003 and found that there is such an enormous latent demand for road space, they believe that whenever a new lane is built or a driver shifts onto public transportation, another driver quickly grabs the open space.

They believe congestion pricing programs are the only things that will decrease overall car use and delays during peak hours. produced a video on congestion pricing in March:

The US DOT put out this report on congestion pricing in October 2008:

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