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Easing the traffic jam through congestion pricing

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Public investments in our nation’s infrastructure have been an important aspect of our American heritage. As a result, many citizens view it as their right to travel freely on the country’s roads and bridges. But urban traffic congestion is taking a significant economic toll on commuters, with the Texas Transportation Institute estimating in 2005 that the average peak-period motorist spends an extra 38 hours of travel time and consumes an additional 26 gallons of fuel annually. The result is an estimated cost to these urban commuters of approximately $710 per year.

Brookings’ Hamilton Project and Metropolitan Policy Program hosted a discussion on the merits of and potential barriers to congestion pricing as a tool for combating urban gridlock. Brookings Fellow Robert Puentes provided an overview of the national transportation landscape and David Lewis, Senior Vice President with HDR Decision Economics, discussed his proposal for a coordinated federal-state policy framework for congestion pricing. A panel of experts discussed the proposal in the context of the current national debate.



Jason Furman
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies

Opening Remarks

Robert Puentes
Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program


David L. Lewis
Senior Vice President, HDR Decision Economics, Inc.

Roundtable Participants

David Heymsfeld
Staff Director, House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure

Ronald F. Kirby
Director of Transportation Planning, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Clifford Winston
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies

Moderator: Jason Bordoff
The Hamilton Project

Event Forum

The Brookings Institution

Available Downloads

Full, unedited transcriptpdf


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Phone: (202) 540-7780
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