I Can Solve the Congestion Problem, but I would have to be King

Keith sent an interesting article on traffic congestion. I’m not sure where he was going with it since it came without comment. I don’t know what others see in this but I have a few comments, since half of the corridors they mention are right in in LA and I know them all.

To begin with, I don’t drive on these corridors (except for one, the 91 freeway – and I has a toll lane which I use and zoom past the cars parked on the rest of the freeway.) I think its senseless. If due to geography I was forced to use them I would go earlier or later, or carpool so I could do something useful while on the road. Sitting in your car for an hour to go 20 miles is absurd.

I know for a fact that the cities involved don’t let the free market set parking prices. In most of the downtown areas parking is subsidized either by the employers or by the government. If both on and off street parking was valued at what it cost to supply it and if drivers had to pay it, I’ll bet that car pools and van pools would cut the congestion by half. If it cost $500 a month to park your car instead of $250, I’ll bet three people would find a way to get together and bring that cost down to $166 each. Doing this, two of the tree would be able to be productive during the commute.

Number 2, New York, Friday night. Well Duh – all the folks living in the city during the week are bailing for the weekend.

Unbundling parking costs from the cost of everything else in the city (rent, movie tickets, clothes at the mall) and showing people what it really costs to park your car would make a huge different in commuting. But we have it ingrained in us that parking should be free. Fix that and you will fix the commuting problem. No politician is willing to take this one on. I could do it if they made me king.

JVH

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