Archive | Demand Management

Props Where Props Are Due

It’s fair to say that I don’t usually have the same policy perspective as the Cascade Policy Institute, but we do tend to converge when it comes to looking at pricing the road system.

They have a new report out supporting tolling as a way to manage congestion.

One passage particularly warmed my heart:

When viewed from the efficient pricing perspective, a
number of implications are derived for the proposed
Columbia River Crossing. Specifically, it is premature to
make a determination of the need for the CRC without
first having a system of network tolling in place. Were
network tolling in place, a clearer picture of what is needed would emerge:

  • Tolling would help relieve traffic conditions even on
    the existing bridge due to the effect of tolling on
    hypercongestion during heavy demand periods.

  • The cost-beneficial roadway capacity needs of the
    crossing would be better perceived if existing
    capacity of the road network were properly priced.
    Failure to price existing capacity tends to exaggerate
    the perceived need for new capacity. Thus, CRC
    capacity needs very likely could be smaller than
    what is currently proposed.

  • It is not clear that a dedicated transit right-of-way
    (for light rail or bus) would be necessary on the
    bridge and its approaches under an efficient pricing
    regime. Such a pricing approach naturally
    encourages use of buses, carpools and other highoccupancy
    vehicles on the roadway, and provides
    free-flow traffic conditions.

As you might imagine, I have a different view on that last bullet. As I said, we often don’t agree. But two out of three isn’t bad.

Get IBM’s Take on Congestion Pricing

From Metro:


Learn about congestion management programs around the world at this installment of Metro’s Transportation Speaker Series featuring Naveen Lamba from IBM’s Global Business Services.Stockholm, London and Singapore are three cities with prominent congestion charging programs. IBM has a significant role in all three projects and a wealth of lessons learned from these successful implementations. Mr. Lamba will also discuss examples of cities that have unsuccessfully tried to implement congestion management programs. Finally, the presentation will discuss innovative approaches to developing the next generation of congestion pricing solutions.

noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009
Metro Regional Center, council chamber
600 NE Grand Ave., Portland

About Naveen Lamba
Mr. Lamba is IBM’s global industry leader for intelligent transportation and is based in the Washington D.C. area. He has spent the last 18 years working on intelligent transportation projects around the world for governments and private sector organizations. Mr. Lamba’s work focuses on developing business and technical models suitable for varying economic and social environments.

Free and open to the public. This lecture is part of Metro’s Transportation Speaker Series. Reservations are not required. For more information, call 503-797-1916 or visit

Loaded Orygun: Driver Self-Interest and the CRC

Loaded Orygun has an interesting post today which delves into some counter-intuitive theories about driver behavior, including how increasing capacity can lead to increased congestion, even at times when other variables like demand are maintained. It then goes on to speculate about the potential connection of those theories to the impacts of the CRC proposal.

Check it out and comment over there.

Private Sector TDM?

Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Winter 2009 Transportation Seminar Series

Speaker: Tom Brennan, Principal, Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates (

Topic: Private Sector Role in Reducing Auto Travel: Motives for Innovation?

When: Friday, February 13, 2009, 12:00 – 1:00pm

Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204

Vote for PAYD

That’s Pay-As-You-Drive auto insurance.

Here’s a request from the Oregon Environmental Council:

MileMeter (, a startup company that plans to offer pay-as-you-drive insurance, is one of 7 finalists (out of 900+ companies) in a national investment competition sponsored by Amazon. You can view a video of MileMeter and vote for which startup business will receive an investment from Amazon at Voting ends at midnight this Wednesday, the 5th of December.

Learn more about pay-as-you-drive insurance at

This is a huge chance to jumpstart PAYD insurance in the U.S. Please join me in casting a vote at