Poll: Should Congestion Fees be Charged to Reduce Traffic?
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for planning has a congestion-pricing plan, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has a plan that would allow motorists to pay a fee or extra toll and use a free-flowing express lane on some expressways, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The price for the additional lanes would drop when less cars are on the road, the newspaper reported. The additional lanes would be added to the I-90 Addams Tollway, I-290 Eisenhower Expressway and I-55 Stevenson Expressway, the Huffington Post reported.
However, some new roadways would have congestion pricing across all lanes – Elgin-O'Hare west bypass and the northern Highway 53 extension/Highway 120 bypass, the Huffington Post reported.
It's one thing to charge a fee to a free-flowing lane to allow someone to choose to avoid traffic, it's quite another to charge a fee to someone because they are using a route that is congested.
CMAP has a detailed, interactive website that explains it's congestion-pricing plan in more detail. CMAP states congestion pricing across all lanes for the Elgin-O'Hare west bypass would drop travel times by 10 minutes and would drop 31 minutes off of the Route 53 extension/Highway 120 bypass.
Felix Salmon wrote in a piece for Reuters why congestion pricing often is unpopular with the public.
"If you want to implement a system which keeps traffic below maximum capacity, then you need to apply significant pressure on drivers to keep them away from the roads. And that means not just implementing a congestion charge, but also regularly increasing the amount of the charge over time," Salmon wrote.
For the express lane options, the CMAP plan would charge 5 cents to 31 cents per mile during rush hour to use an express lane, the Tribune reported. This amounts to $2.76 for the Stevenson and $3.41 for the Eisenhower, the newspaper reported.