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The Age Of Congestion Pricing May Finally Be Upon Us

Congestion pricing places a surcharge on certain roads at certain times of day

In policy, academic and urban planning circles, know that they hear your grousing about traffic and roll their eyes. Yep, traffic is bad. It drives you nuts. It’s not good for the environment: All that idling! But in the U.S., those pragmatic wonks have been pitching the same solution for decades. You just won’t listen.

A solution to your traffic troubles is congestion pricing, which places a surcharge on certain roads at certain times of day. The policy essentially makes roads subject to the market, charging users more when supply is short and demand is high (say, rush hour) and less when there’s lots of supply and not much demand (say, in the middle of the night). You drive it, you buy it.

But for decades, congestion pricing has been seen as a political nonstarter in the US, because it charges drivers—YOU—for something they’re used to getting for free. The charges have seen success since the early 2000’s in places like Singapore, London, Milan and Stockholm. But now American-accented traffic whining has reached ear-piercing levels, and city governments are hurting for funds. So congestion pricing might, finally, be coming to big U.S. cities, places like L.A. and Boston. Even New York.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

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