Posted by: Gregory | June 13, 2015

Traffic congestion: is there a miracle cure? (Hint: it’s not roads)

Travel demand management techniques often focus on road tolls or parking charges. Using insurance to encourage better driving behaviour isn’t a common topic. It’s an interesting idea, although predicated on mandatory insurance, which New Zealand lacks.

SoLoMo Consulting

Once a new road opens, people switch back to cars and congestion increases back to a steady-state point of gridlock. For lasting effectiveness, policy needs to include congestion charges and better rail services.

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It is very important that discussions like this are taking place. I don’t believe there are simple answers. We have a lot of very clever people in the industry and if the answers were simple, we would simply apply them.

An interesting thing to me is that we still point fingers at institutions and not at ourselves. If road tolls work for example, it is because they force commuters and other road users to change their behavior by making the journey more painful. At that point they will look for a less painful solution such as changing their travel times or routes. Wouldn’t it be great if business took advantage of new…

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