Should D.C. Toll Streets During Peak Traffic Periods? Council Wants To Study ‘Congestion Pricing’ -

London adopted congestion pricing in 2003 and reduced the number of cars in the downtown area by 20 percent.  Alain Rouiller Follow / Flickr

Traffic in Washington is already bad and could get worse when autonomous vehicles arrive. But D.C. Council members want to look at ways to reduce congestion and delays and move more people than cars. So how do you do that?

Hit people in the wallet. With tolls.

The Council included almost half a million dollars in its budget to study the idea known as “congestion pricing.” A major business group, the Greater Washington Partnership, is also on board, but some local officials say there are more things that can be done before tolls.

The “transportation demand management” idea has been executed in the region in a few different forms, including the High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-95 and the Beltway, and in the District’s Chinatown neighborhood, where hourly meter parking prices change based on demand.

Could applying the idea to driving on regular city streets be next?

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