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Congestion Pricing

Ridley-Thomas Introduces Congestion Pricing Legislation

8:09 AM PDT on October 2, 2008

10_2_08_thomas.jpgLocked in a tight battle for the Board of Supervisors seat held by Yvonne Burke with City Councilman Bernard Parks, State Senator Mark Ridley Thomas may have taken a risk by introducing S. 1422, the enabling legislation that will allow Metro to move forward with it's plan to bring congestion pricing to Los Angeles.

While Thomas seems interested in seeing what congestion pricing can bring in the way of traffic relief to Los Angeles, he seems more interested in the over $210 million dollars in promised federal funds if Metro's HOT Lanes plan moves forward.  Ridley-Thomas explains his position in The Planning Report.

Over the past several weeks I have had the opportunity to study oneof the most innovative technologies in transportation: the FastLanesprogram. I’m convinced this “FastLane” project will deliver at leastthree regional benefits: 1. traffic congestion relief, 2. economicdevelopment and jobs, and 3. air quality improvement.

Los Angeles County has the opportunity to secure more than $210million to test the concept of FastLanes as part of a nationaldirective to help major cities better manage their freeway capacity.What more logical area than Los Angeles—the nation’s single mostcongested city—to test this concept?

This funding is especially needed here given the region’sextreme paucity of transportation resources, and would pay for muchmore than just operation of toll lanes. The project is, in fact, acomprehensive corridor improvement program that benefits everyonethroughout the region, regardless of whether or not they choose to paya toll.

While congestion pricing, even Metro's watered down version which doesn't address rush hour congestion, has been attacked by the press and politicians throughout LA County, Ridley-Thomas' actual risk may not be as bad as it first appeared.  After all, Councilman Parks has voted in favor of Congestion Pricing studies in both his roles as a City Councilman and Metro Board Member.

Photo: Disability Rights Coalition

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