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 :-)

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