Monday, August 3, 2009

Urban congestion: why "free" roads are costly

Source: Australian Treasury
"Many see traffic jams as a fact of city life, but its root cause is overuse of a common resource – the urban road network. Putting a price on access to roads at busy times could encourage individuals to change their travel plans, according to this report. Most roads are nominally ‘free’ to drive on, resulting in demand for many roads that exceeds capacity at relatively predictable times. This means that motorists do in fact pay – in wasted time – to drive on ‘free’ roads at peak periods, which disrupts the flow of people and goods in the economy, harming productivity and growth – as well as frustrating all road users."