The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Monday, March 10, 2008

USDOT Presentation on Congestion Relief

  • US DOT Congestion Initiative Urban Partnership Agreements
    NTOC Summer Meeting

    September 7, 2007

    Washington, DC
    Solving the Congestion Problem
    Shape Demand
    Invest in New Capacity
    Operate System at Peak Performance
    Bring Supply and Demand into Alignment -- Congestion Pricing
    Congestion Pricing – Bringing Supply and Demand into Alignment
    Failure to properly price travel on highways is a root cause of congestion.
    The price of highway travel (gas taxes, registration fees, etc.) bears little or no relationship to the cost of congestion.
    Unlike other public utilities, the public expectation is that the "service" is free or does not change with changes in demand.
    Rationing transportation services via pricing is more efficient than rationing by delay.
    Congestion Pricing - The Options
    Congestion Pricing of Excess HOV Facility Capacity (HOT Lanes)
    HOV and HOT Lanes in the U.S.
    USDOT's Congestion Initiative: A Six-Point Plan
    Relieve Urban Congestion.
    Unleash private sector investment resources.
    Promote operational and technological improvements.
    Establish a "Corridors of the Future" competition.
    Target major freight bottlenecks and expand freight policy outreach.
    Accelerate major aviation capacity projects and provide a future funding framework.
    Urban Partnership Agreements – Congestion Pricing
    Congestion Pricing is a key component of the USDOT Congestion Initiative (Relieve Urban Congestion element) - Urban Partnerships.
    Integrated "4T" Strategy .
    TOLLING (pricing) – Key Element
    Direct user charge based on use of facility; varies based on level of congestion
    Toll collection via electronic means (no booths)
    Telecommuting/Travel Demand Management
    About $850 million in USDOT Discretionary Funds.

    Preliminary Urban Partners
    Congestion Pricing - The Progress
    Minneapolis – St. Paul Urban Partner
    The Big T (Tolling/Pricing)
    I-35W between downtown Minneapolis and the southern suburbs.
    Existing HOV lanes converted to dynamically-priced HOT lanes (similar to existing MnPASS operation).
    Existing HOT lanes extended.
    Shoulder lanes dynamically priced.

    Minneapolis - St. Paul Urban Partner
    Electronic toll collection
    ITS Technology to improve transit services
    Arterial and freeway management

    Minneapolis - St. Paul Urban Partner
    Establish a Bus Rapid Transit lane into downtown Minneapolis.
    Advanced BRT stations and park and ride facilities for the North metro suburbs along the I-35W corridor.
    "Transit advantage" bypass lane/ramp.
    Contra-flow transit lanes in downtown Minneapolis.
    Miami Urban Partner
    The Big T (Tolling/Pricing)
    21 miles of HOT lanes on I-95 from Fort Lauderdale to downtown Miami.
    Raise HOV limit from HOV2 to HOV3+.
    Expand 10-lane highway to 12 lanes (by reducing the width of the existing lanes from 12 to 11 feet and using a portion of the shoulder).

    Miami Urban Partner
    SunPass electronic toll collection.
    Operate BRT on HOT lanes.
    Transit facility improvements.
    Flex-time incentives.
    Carpooling and vanpooling programs.
    Congestion Pricing - The Progress
    Seattle Urban Partner
    The Big T (Tolling/Pricing)
    Variable pricing on the State Route 520 floating bridge.
    King County crossing that currently carries about 160,000 people per day between Seattle and its Eastside suburbs.
    Tolls on the existing bridge are intended to help pay for the new bridge.
    Seattle Urban Partner
    Electronic toll collection
    Real-time multi-modal traveler information
    Active traffic management
    Enhance bus service and provide supporting amenities
    Regional ferry service
    Carpooling and vanpooling programs
    Telecommuting outreach

    San Francisco Urban Partner
    The Big T (Tolling/Pricing)
    Variable pricing on Doyle Drive, the 1.5 mile elevated roadway leading to the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Will charge an extra one-way-fee above the $5 toll on the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Revenues will help pay to reconstruct the 70-year old Doyle Drive.

    San Francisco Urban Partner
    Electronic toll collection.
    SFgo Arterial Traffic Management System/Traffic Controller Upgrades.
    511 Upgrades.
    Creation of Integrated Mobility Accounts.
    Dynamic message signs indicating current toll rates.
    San Francisco Urban Partner
    Improvements to Regional Ferry Service.
    Improved Bus Service, including Bus Rapid Transit.
    Variable pricing of on/off-street parking and city-owned garage spaces in downtown San Francisco.
    Telecommuting outreach.
    Congestion Pricing - The Progress
    New York City Urban Partner
    The Big T (Tolling/Pricing)
    Will charge drivers $8 and trucks $21 a day to enter or leave Manhattan below 86th Street on weekdays during the workday.
    Those who drive only within the congestion zone would pay $4 a day for cars, $5.50 for trucks.
    New York City Urban Partner
    Electronic toll collection.

    Bus facilities and other improvements.
    Initiation of Bus Rapid Transit.
    Regional ferry services.

    Congestion Pricing - The Progress
    Congestion Pricing – Region Wide Charges
    Current Examples
    Studies in Oregon and Seattle have tested mileage-based fees and peak-period driving charges.
    Nationwide Truck Pricing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – Automated weight-distance truck tolls across their national highways (Note: Sets the stage for area-wide congestion pricing).
    USDOT/FHWA Next Steps
    Promote HOV to HOT Conversions through Tailored Technical Assistance
    Urban Partners
    Provide Direct Support to the Urban Partners
    Harness and Share Experiences
    Provide General Resource Material - Tailored Workshops and Seminars; Reference Material
    Value Pricing Pilot Program Lessons Learned
    Model Pricing Legislation
    "Making the Case" Outreach and Technical Support

    For More Information

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