A 6 month trial of the congestion tax

Long time readers of this blog will note that the topic of a congestion tax has come up numerous times, including the suspicion that the addition of radio frequency identification tags set the stage for it.  Hopefully our government will take a page from the principles of open democracy and announce that they're going to trial a congestion tax for 6 months (aka The Stockholm Trial), produce a report and then put the ultimate decision to the people by way of a plebicite (aka a public vote similar to a referendum).  By doing so, they can save face by not being blamed for introducing something that turns out to be hated but can also gain the credit if it turns out well.  Ie, let the people decide.

For those interested, I've rambled on about congestion in the past so no need to be a bore.  Here are a few links

Discussing congestion

Causes thereof

Measuring congestion

Also of note:
Curbing demand (electronic market priced street parking)

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9 thoughts on “A 6 month trial of the congestion tax

  1. One question that comes up is where should the revenues from such a congestion tax go towards? I’m thinking it ought to go to improving the public transportation options, and possibly redesigning the roadways around town to improve traffic flow, if possible.
    The ‘Park-and-Ride’ add-on mentioned in the linked article may have to be a necessary option; however where would the pool of extra bus drivers be garnered from? With PTB still in their ‘work to rule’ state, I wonder if Government has the ability to pursue such an avenue.

  2. Tryangle, how would you redesign the roadways? They are limited and well traveld. There are no other options for roads.
    As for park and rides it’s a great concept as long as people have a place to park but then again if your driving there your almost at your destination. Whats the point?

  3. I don’t have any ideas for redesigning the roads; there’s little space on the island to do much else, fact is that there are serious bottlenecks at Paget stoplights and the roundabout at Trimmingham Hill and South Road during rush hour periods. That’s the facts, and if someone thinks it’s worthwhile to bring a team of analysts in to assess the situation and come up with a better method then it would be welcomed.

  4. Tryangle,
    It isn’t necessary to redesign the roads but instead to change how they’re used.
    A reasonable approach would be to adopt the traffic flow monitoring system that utilizes cell phones as noted above. (http://www.physorg.com/news11632.html) This way you could better model where traffic comes from, where flow problems are and develop strategies to change the flow.
    Take a look at this article which discusses that often times less is more when it comes to road access: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/008957.html
    Taking inspiration from the above, could we test closing off certain sections of roads to increase throughput? Ie, your mention of the bottlenecks at the paget stoplights and trimmingham hill.
    You could trial shutting down entry that causes congestion such as with the paget stoplights during certain parts of the day. Either south or middle road are cut off back to the last detour point for one of the lanes and the lights stay set to support the other side. People will quickly learn that they need to take a side road sooner to the other road meaning that junction has increased throughput and the congestion is filtered amongst the many side junctions.
    Same thing with trimmingham hill. Determine where the congestion is coming from, possible side traffic etc and shut it down forcing people causing the congestion to detour and increasing the flow of the busiest route. Round abouts are great when congestion is not high but when it is, they’re less efficient than traffic lights.
    Other things could be done to speed traffic flow into town by banning morning parking on front street during rush hour, and evaluating where reid street slows down.
    On top of all of that, the bus layouts could be reworked to move the bus depot out of town and run minibuses (split it into east and west end depots) into town from it to reduce the need to send in full sized buses and introduce more flexibility.
    I’m working on another piece for that that evaluates traffic solutions elsewhere and how we can learn from them

  5. What do you mean by censoring posts?
    If by posts you actually mean comments, if people make personal attacks it is likely that I will modify their comment and note that it has been modified due to a personal attack.
    It has been a long time since I have modified anyone’s comment.

  6. I made a comment. There was/were no personal attacks. Just wondered why my comments did not show on your site, thats all.

  7. Rummy,
    My apologies if your comment was lost. I too had some difficulties a couple nights ago, I submitted the same comment a few times and it didn’t seem to take. Upon logging onto typepad I noted a couple of them had been put in the spam folder, but they were the only ones in there. I’ve searched the web and typepad and haven’t been able to find any references to similar issues, hopefully it was a one off.

  8. Appreciate the response. Glad to see the site moving again and the interesting subjects and comments.

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