Three Steps To Get Our Highways Moving Again

Reason.tv has a nice short video: Three Steps To Get Our Highways Moving Again

Samuel Staley, Director of Urban Growth and Land Use Policy at Reason Foundation, has outlined three quick steps to improving mobility: (1) increase capacity, (2) support market oriented thinking and (3) employ comprehensive pricing.

I would frame these in reverse order. Employ pricing first. Then, before increasing capacity (i.e., what Matt Kahn and I call Expand It Second in our Brookings paper), we need to conduct the appropriate B/C analysis. The point is that we don’t know what we need to expand until pricing is in place and the benefits and costs have been assessed from that new baseline. There will of course be some capacity to be expanded in this new world, but a lot less than if we continue to give away our road capacity without a good, time and location-specific price signal.