February 15, 2007
Federal Congestion Policy
At a recent meeting of Commissioner Adams transportation operations group, we had a presentation from an FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) official on USDOT initiatives on congestion. There are four initiatives:
- Corridors of the Future
- Urban Partnership Agreements
- Value Pricing Pilot Program
- Intelligent Transportation System Operational Tests
Corridors of the future is pretty much a capacity program. They have targeted I-5 from Wilsonville to north of Vancouver as one such corridor. I'm not sure what they plan to do about the Terwilliger Curves :-)
The Urban Partnership Agreement program seems to be a sort of umbrella for things like the Cost of Congestion Study.
The third and fourth items show some potential. Everyone seems to agree that ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems - using information technology to manage our roads better) has lots of promise.
The eye-opener for me is that the feds are embracing pricing as a management tool. This is explored in more detail in a recent Christian Science Monitor article.
There may yet be hope :-)
February 15, 2007 4:31 PM
Bush in the past hasn't been against market based pricing (i.e. supply and demand associations) being put into place. The only problem I have, which is common with most things, is that the Government wants to do it. Why wouldn't one just privatize the damn thing and give us our tax monies back. Just do it with the coveat, do it cheaper than the Government would do it, and charge people based on usage.
Simple, lower cost, supply is based on demand (instead of pull politics), and road usage would decrease (Because one can gaurantee many wouldn't want to pay for usage anymore, thus they'd find other ways) - the core ideals are met for Libertarians, Free-marketers, environmentalists, conservationists, and urban planners even!