Attacking congestion with a broader transportation policy

Attacking congestion with a broader transportation policy

We drive more than 2.9 trillion miles a year, said Kevin DeGood, director of infrastructure policy at the Center for American Progress, and only 10 percent of that is driven by commercial trucks. As far as the condition of American highways, –we have a car problem,” DeGood said. There has been an exponential growth in vehicle miles traveled and very little change in the condition of highways.

Nearly three-quarters of all vehicle trips are less than nine miles. With better design of our streets and communities, congestion could be eased if many of these trips were replaced by bicycling, transit and walking. DeGood spoke of the connection between housing development and congestion, as many developments, for instance, have only one entry and exit.

His recommendations to deal with congestion:

« A mileage-based user fee

« An increase in the gas tax (also frequently advocated as a way to deal with our crumbling infrastructure)

« Congestion pricing

« Renaming of the Highway Trust Fund to the Transportation Trust Fund and expanding it to include bicycles, pedestrians and transit.

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