Congestion Pricing

Texas Rebuff Of Winning Toll Road Bid Raises Concerns

By a vote 27 to 10, the North Texas Regional Transportation Council (RTC) recommended that the 26-mile SH 121 toll road project be awarded to the public North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) rather than to the private consortium of Cintra-JP Morgan Asset Management. The latter bidder had won the award in a competitive procurement process earlier this year. The RTC decision has been widely condemned by the transportation community as wrong on substantive as well as fairness grounds. (See, for example, “A Tale of Two Texas Roads,” by Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation). A formal decision is up to the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) which will vote on the RTC recommendation June 28. The Commission will be faced with Read More ›

Regions And Feds Must Jointly Combat Congestion

A new report by the Congressional Research Service notes that traffic congestion has reached crisis proportions in some places. But, the report notes, not everyone agrees that congestion is a major national problem warranting a federal government response. Because congestion tends to be geographically concentrated in major metropolitan areas, past Congressional action has tended to favor a predominantly state and local response. The report speculates that Congress may well decide to continue with this approach in the next reauthorization of the guiding federal transportation policy legislation, known as SAFETEA-LU, which expires October 1, 2009. States and localities that suffer major congestion would be free to focus their resources on congestion mitigation, while those who are relatively congestion-free could devote their Read More ›

Electronic Tolling Comes To Washington

Yesterday was the first day for office sales of electronic toll stickers for use later this year by drivers on the new eastbound, Route 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge. State transportation officials by mid-day had sold or mailed out to customers 2,654 of the stickers, to be read by overhead transponders which automatically deduct toll costs from drivers’ pre-paid accounts. (UPDATE: registrations had grown to 6,131 by mid-day today, but with some short-term DOT server glitches, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports). This DOT animation contrasts the more free-flowing “Good To Go” electronic toll lanes, and the slower toll booth lanes for single-purchase customers. The animation also demonstrates how overhead cameras will capture the license plate numbers of scofflaws, who will be issued Read More ›

Toll Premiums = Congestion Insurance

In a Puget Sound Business Journal op-ed, Cascadia Center’s Co-Directors Bruce Agnew and Tom Till make the case for regional transportation governance and tolling. They write: People in Puget Sound want politicians to solve the traffic congestion problem. They have supported two statewide gas-tax packages since 2003. While other regions fund transportation with a mix of public and private funding, our state has been reluctant to embrace such partnerships and tolling. Elected leaders are gun shy about too much talk of new tolls, except for those on the 520 bridge. Politicians risk being accused of bait and switch, however, if they promise to complete all the projects without the help of tolls. A new report to the state calls for Read More ›

State Treasurer Urges More Tolling For SR 520 Bridge Rebuild Tab

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Chris McGann reports today Washington State Treasurer Michael Murphy urges tolls on both the State Route 520 bridge and Interstate 90, to help fill a funding gap of at least $2.7 billion in the planned six-lane replacement for the former. The state has been considering 520 tolling to help pay for the bridge replacement, but not I-90 tolling; that would require federal approval. Currently, the state transportation commission oversees what very limited tolling is currently planned for implementation in Washington, and under proposed legislation, tolls would have to be approved by the state legislature. However, best practices might well suggest that regional transportation project funding decisions including tolling would be made by a regional transportation commission, if Read More ›

Research Compendium

Last updated August 25, 2008 The research, it just keeps coming. On this page, we’ll compile links to key studies and reports on innovation in transportation. MANAGING, PLANNING & FUNDING TRANSPORTATION Cascadia Center Reports “Lessons In Public-Private Partnerships & Climate Change: What British Columbia Taught California, And What Washington Can Still Learn,” 10/07. “A Tale Of Three Cities: How San Diego, Denver and Vancouver, B.C. Raised Major Regional Funds For Transportation,” Doug Hurley, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 9/06. “Travel Value Pricing: Better Traffic Operations Management & New Revenue For The Puget Sound Region,” John S. Niles, for Cascadia Center, 4/06. “Transportation Working Group Recommendations,” Transportation Working Group, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 2/15/05. Transportation Working Group background, members, and Read More ›