Congestion Pricing For Los Angeles: An Open Letter To Mayor Villaraigosa

<p>Robert W. Poole of the Reason Foundation argues for HOT Lanes on Los Angeles freeways.</p>
August 1, 2007, 9am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"...the majority of transportation spending in the current SCAG long-range plan would go for transit. Yet that same plan projects that, despite increasing transit's rush-hour market share 50% by 2030 (from below 5% to nearly 7.5%), transit would still be a small fraction of all such trips. That means, like it or not, that most rush-hour trips in 2030 will still be made by car. Once again, that underscores the need to focus on relieving congestion on the freeway system."

"...the single most important step Los Angeles could take on congestion pricing is to convert the region's large and growing set of HOV lanes into a seamless network of HOT lanes (similar to those on SR 91 and I-15). This could be done by installing electronic tolling equipment and signage overhead on the existing lanes, issuing revenue bonds based on the projected toll revenue, and using those funds to add key missing links-e.g., HOT lanes on US 101 and I-10, and flyover HOT-to-HOT connectors at key interchanges."

"Recent reports from SCAG and Caltrans point out the overwhelming need to add capacity to the highway system, to cope with the enormous projected growth in people and driving (despite transit investments and the transit stimulation made possible by the HOT Network). Congestion pricing of costly new additions such as tunnels can produce far more revenue than conventional flat-rate tolling. Thus, congestion pricing revenues should fund a large share of the capital costs of these very ambitious projects. And pricing will keep them from becoming overwhelmed by traffic congestion, making them sustainable highway investments."

Thanks to James Brasuell

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Published on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 in The Planning Report
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