Not ‘smart’ at all. But there is hope. Reason’s Bob Poole has led the charge nationally for innovative road pricing strategies. Check out this piece from Tuesday’s San Diego Union Tribune in which he discusses congestion relief through managed lanes (special lanes with variable pricing) and the need for more of them in San Diego. And just last week, he released a new study that demonstrates how large-scale highway projects, funded entirely or largely with toll revenues instead of taxpayer dollars, could be developed to add highway capacity in California that will otherwise never be built. Last week he also had this Public Works Financing piece in which he discusses variable pricing in the context of the reauthorization of the federal transportation program. Mere mortals can only dream of producing such a substantive body of work in a week’s time, but Bob’s a man — no, a machine — on a mission. Be sure to dig back through the archives of Reason’s Surface Transportation Program for more on pricing and other innovative approaches to congestion relief.
Leonard Gilroy is vice president of government reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. He also serves as senior managing director of the Pension Integrity Project at Reason Foundation, which assists policymakers and other stakeholders in designing, analyzing and implementing public sector pension reforms.