Goal conflicts in political decisionmaking: a survey of municipality politicians' views of road pricing
An ongoing discussion concerns road-pricing schemes as measures to abate traffic congestion and air pollution in metropolitan areas. If such measures are to be effective, road-pricing fees must be set sufficiently high. However, municipalities are likely to have other goals besides reducing car use, such as upholding fairness among citizens and financial goals such as creating revenues. If conflicts prove to exist between different goals, road-pricing schemes are not likely to achieve the environmental goal. To investigate the degree to which these goal conflicts exist, members of the local governments in the three major metropolitan areas of Sweden responded to a survey questionnaire. In the questionnaire they rated a number of principles guiding the setting of road-pricing fees hypothesized to correspond to the three goals. The results showed that, for the political majority, the hypothesized goal conflicts existed in that no single goal was optimized. It is concluded that in particular fairness may prevent road pricing achieving the environmental goal.
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