Out of Control Policy Blog

Myths about car-happy suburbia

The other day Sam and I had a piece in the Washington Post. It touches on five of the 10 myths about driving and suburbia that we address in our book. The piece is reprinted here.

And how about congestion relief moving up the federal to-do list? First the DOT announces a major new effort to tackle gridlock and now this:

    With much of his domestic agenda stalled by Congress, President Bush is embracing a new cause he is hoping will cross party lines and leave him with an end-of-term accomplishment: easing rush-hour traffic.

    In his annual budget blueprint to be unveiled today, Mr. Bush intends to showcase a highway "congestion initiative," according to White House documents, with grants for state and local governments to experiment with anti-jam strategies.

    In a surprise that could foreshadow how Mr. Bush might reach out to Democrats -- and disappoint conservatives -- for the rest of his term, the centerpiece of the traffic plan involves an initiative that some critics say amounts to a tax, a plan depicted by administration officials as "congestion pricing." The administration will award $130 million in grants starting this spring to help cities and states build electronic toll systems that would charge drivers fees for traveling in and out of big cities during peak traffic times. The money also could go to other congestion strategies such as expanded telecommuting, but administration officials make it clear they think congestion pricing is the most powerful tool they have. The White House will seek an additional $175 million for congestion initiatives in next year's budget.

More here.

Related: The Quiet Success: Telecommuting's Impact on Transportation and Beyond (pdf)

Ted Balaker is Producer


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