America’s Traffic = USSR’s Bread Lines

I have written about this before, but the fact that you can get on almost any road and not have to pay a cent means that the road is socialized. This is related to how people want to treat health care or how they distributed bread in the Soviet Union. The whole idea is that the government absorbs and distributes. Over at The Infrastructurist they discuss this very point:

“There’s a huge free lunch of additional carrying capacity in our road system that could be used if we managed demand slightly better. Currently, we ration traffic capacity the same way the old Soviet Union rationed bread–by having everyone wait in line. It’s a wasteful way to allocate bread, and it’s a wasteful way to allocate scarce road space at rush hour. Pricing the roads to reduce peak volumes even slightly–by encouraging those with flexible schedules to take the trip at some other time, go by another mode, or forego the trip altogether–makes the system work better for everyone else and actually increases its capacity.

The technology for implementing road pricing is already in hand and has been implemented around the country through “fast pass” electronic tolling. Large scale demonstrations of road pricing have had a significant effect on congestion in London and Stockholm.”

Of course, over here we should support a completely private system. There is no reason why this could not be done privately. In many places, like L.A., there are private roads. The reason why people do not see these roads in many other places is because it is very hard for a private company to compete with a public project. The consumer is paying for both the public road and the private fees to use the road. If the system was completely private, people would have more disposable income to spend on these roads. Not to mention, that there would be varying price systems. This is a very good article. The private roads are broken and we need to come up with a solution.

The rest is here.


Published in: on March 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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