Manville Explains Equity of Congestion Pricing

Associate Professor of Urban Planning Michael Manville spoke to the Washington Post to help debunk myths about highways and traffic. While some cities have widened their highways in an attempt to decrease traffic, “the iron law of congestion” explains the phenomenon in which widening highways results in a proportional increase in cars on the road. Some economists and urban planning experts, including Manville, have proposed congestion pricing as a solution to traffic congestion by making drivers pay for the space they take up on the highway. Some opponents of congestion pricing have argued that the policy would hurt the poor, but Manville responded, “Free roads are not a good way to help poor people.” Manville explained that affluent people drive more regardless of whether or not congestion pricing exists, so the best way to help low-income residents is actually by improving infrastructure and public transit, which can be funded through congestion pricing revenue.

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