Monday, July 25, 2005

More Madness, More Mayhem -- Bacon's Rebellion Online

The July 25, 2005, edition of Bacon's Rebellion has been published.

Of particular interest to those who follow transportation and land use issues:

Rush Hour Will Never Be the Same
Technology is liberating workers from the tyranny of the central workplace, scrambling commuting patterns in the process. Our transportation policies are still catching up.
by James A. Bacon

Tolls Versus Taxes
Tolls beat taxes as a funding mechanism for transportation projects because those with money at risk have reason to make realistic assumptions about costs and traffic.
by Patrick McSweeney

The Shelter Crisis
The price of housing is getting out of reach for a majority of Virginians. The solution isn't more government subsidies, which are part of the problem, but putting houses in the right locations.
by EM Risse

Guru of Gridlock
Tim Lomax, co-author of the 2005 Urban Mobility Study, says there’s no simple remedy for traffic congestion -- Americans need to try a wide range of strategies. His thinking could pave the way for the Network of Space.
Content sponsored by AgilQuest Corporation

Nice & Curious Questions
No More Free Rides: Toll Roads in Virginia
by Edwin S. Clay III and Patricia Bangs

3 Comments:

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You discussed many strategies this week. I will add another. Separate planning and funding for congested areas.

Tim Lomax is right. We need a wide range of strategies. The list is not exhaustive. A distributed workforce strategy belongs in the list.

Another strategy that belongs on the list is to recognize that our transportation problems have changed over the years. We now have 85 regions across the U.S. where congestion limits the economy. The current system of planning investment was designed to increase mobility, and with its stovepipes of highway funds, transit funds, port funds and airport funds does a disservice to those who are attempting to solve the congestion problem. We need to move the 85 regions from the traditional funding and planning matrix and instead give them a new toolbox.

The toolbox should include flexible demand pricing, and flexible investment policies. The steps may be small, like a tax on below market rate parking, to large, like new annual pass transit systems, and cordon tolls. Each solution has to be tailored to the individual region. There is no nationwide or statewide solution. There are nationwide and statewide problems. One major problem is an investment policy that treats transportation spending as “pork” and not economic investment for our taxpayers. A move to two sets of investment policies, one for traditional transportation and one for congestion would be a move forward.

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger Jim Bacon said...

Anonymous, You make some interesting points. First of all, I totally agree with you that transportation needs to be solved on a regional basis: providing mobility within the region, and providing mobility between regions. That requires a fundamental change in our governance structure -- unfortunately, not a likely eventuality any time soon. Secondly, you're right, our funding mechanisms do approach the problem in "stovepipe" fashion. We pay lip service to intermodal approaches, but rarely do anything.

 
At 12:39 AM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

Flexible demand pricing is another way to make people pay for their locational decisions, whether temporary or permanemt. The net result of this will be to encorage more businesses to locate elewhere and more homeowners with them.

Some people claim the solution to pollution is not dilution, but in the finite analyisis they are wrong. We go to a lot of trouble to bring disperse resources to one location, and then we call it pollution. The same is true of congestion, if you disperse it enough, it is no longer recognizable. Flexible demand pricing is just one more way of dispersion.

You cannot have a level playing field if you have separate funding for different areas. At the same time, those places with the greatest needs deserve more funding. That is why it makes no sense to support a plan that denies development in those places that the developing problems need more funding. Such a plan wrecks the level playing field and exacerbates the problems.

 

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