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The politics of congestion mitigation

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  • Taylor, Brian D.
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    Abstract

    Most research on congestion overlooks the political context of traffic congestion and congestion mitigation policies. While failed congestion policies around the globe are products of misguided premises and flawed analyses, they are also the products of political processes that emphasize highly visible congestion relief projects and programs over actually relieving congestion. Accordingly, this paper makes and defends four propositions. First, that public officials tend to exaggerate the consequences of (widely unpopular) metropolitan traffic congestion for political gain. Second, that (widely popular) public transit investments are unlikely to meaningfully reduce congestion. Third, that public officials can cynically use congestion as a rationale for funding for high-profile, politically-popular transportation (and, increasingly, public transit) projects. And fourth, that the experience to date suggests that various forms of transport and parking pricing offer the best hope for meaningfully reducing congestion in the coming years.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 299-302

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:11:y:2004:i:3:p:299-302

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    References

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    1. Shoup, Donald C., 1997. "Evaluating the effects of cashing out employer-paid parking: Eight case studies," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 201-216, October.
    2. Wachs, Martin, 1994. "Will Congestion Pricing Ever Be Adopted?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt98r1z5rj, University of California Transportation Center.
    3. Brownstone, David & Ghosh, Arindam & Golob, Thomas F. & Kazimi, Camilla & Van Amelsfort, Dirk, 2003. "Drivers' willingness-to-pay to reduce travel time: evidence from the San Diego I-15 congestion pricing project," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 373-387, May.
    4. Stopher, Peter R., 2004. "Reducing road congestion: a reality check," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 117-131, April.
    5. Shoup, Donald C., 1997. "Evaluating the effects of cashing out employer-paid parking: Eight case studies," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2qw4w2s1, University of California Transportation Center.
    6. Golob, Thomas F., 2001. "Joint models of attitudes and behavior in evaluation of the San Diego I-15 congestion pricing project," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 495-514, July.
    7. Taylor, Brian D., 2002. "Rethinking Traffic Congestion," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2fb4t8wd, University of California Transportation Center.
    8. Shoup, Donald C., 1999. "The trouble with minimum parking requirements," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 549-574.
    9. Levine, Jonathan & Garb, Yaakov, 2002. "Congestion pricing's conditional promise: promotion of accessibility or mobility?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 179-188, July.
    10. S L Handy & D A Niemeier, 1997. "Measuring accessibility: an exploration of issues and alternatives," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(7), pages 1175-1194, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Litman, Todd, 2007. "Evaluating rail transit benefits: A comment," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 94-97, January.
    2. Michael L. Anderson, 2013. "Subways, Strikes, and Slowdowns: The Impacts of Public Transit on Traffic Congestion," NBER Working Papers 18757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mondschein, Andrew & Taylor, Brian D & Brumbaugh, Stephen, 2010. "Congestion And Accessibility: What’S The Relationship?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt8135b0jh, University of California Transportation Center.
    4. Yoh, Allison & Taylor, Brian D. & Gahbauer, John, 2012. "Does Transit Mean Business? Reconciling academic, organizational, and political perspectives on Reforming Transit Fare Policies," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6dv295b7, University of California Transportation Center.
    5. Mondschein, Andrew & Taylor, Brian D. & Brumbaugh, Stephen, 2011. "Congestion and Accessibility: What's the Relationship," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6bh2n9wx, University of California Transportation Center.

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