Saturday, October 17, 2009

How Can Traffic Jams Help the Environment?

I read an article recently in the Wall Street Journal that talked about how traffic jams are good for the environment. That's right, city planners in major cities are now using a practice called "congestive pricing".

Congestive pricing is when cities charge high fees for driving on high traveled roads. Major cities have stopped building extra routes and adding other traffic tools that help solve traffic jams(in other words more roads just equal more traffic). Cities are never going to make traffic jams go away and the hope is that if the cities make traffic so bad that people will start using subways and buses. City planners say that congestive pricing has dubious environmental value. So New York recently appointed Jay H. Walder as their chairman and chief executive officer of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Jay Walder just got done with London's congestive pricing scheme. If you live New York expect to soon start paying tolls for roads you never paid tolls for and traffic to get worse(don't know how that would be possible).

I have mixed feelings about congestive pricing. Anything that causes more people to take public transportation is a good thing plain and simple. But the playing of the environmental card by city leaders about the reason for congestive pricing pisses me off. Why can't they just they just call a spade a spade! Due to the economy our major cities are broke and public transportation in some cities is ready to collapse. This is just a ploy from the city to make more money nothing else, but the city leaders know if they call it good for the environment people will accept it.

But none of this solves the real problem! There are now more cars in the U.S. then there are people. If we just made all of cars and public transportation carbon free all this would be a non issue. There are a million better ways to get Americans to stop driving their gas guzzling global warming cars then congestive pricing.

Green Gnome Out!


  1. remove a road or two and people will find alternative ways to get wherever they are going - everyone will hate it - but it works - eventually

  2. Instead of re-naming or pretending the problem is a "solution" because you don't have one, you should study and really solve traffic congestion.
    Here is an idea:

  3. I got fed up with traffic jams so I decided to get a new bike and ride it to work every day. I feel healthier and happier!


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