Comment 88039

By RobF (registered) | Posted April 20, 2013 at 02:03:15 in reply to Comment 88013

No, that's not my point. We have traditionally viewed roads and highways as a public good and haven't charged users the full costs for the mobility they provide. To do so suddenly and in a punitive way would cause undue hardship for many households who have little control over where employment is located and whether it can reasonably be accessed via transit, etc. Still if you just build more and better transit without pricing highway usage directly in any form, people who can use and see a benefit in using the new transit will make the switch, but the reduced congestion will fairly quickly encourage new highway users to take their place.

It's a basic axiom in transportation studies: reduced congestion, operates like new capacity, and induces demand where there are users who would use the highway but don't because of the congestion.

If you don't have a pricing mechanism to dissuade optional highway use or new development that takes advantage of the hidden subsides associated with highway accessibility then you get new congestion and the urban structure probably won't reorient much toward transit-oriented development.

Comment edited by RobF on 2013-04-20 02:03:35

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