The politics of congestion mitigation
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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Volume (Year): 11 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
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