October 7, 2007: Traffic congestion

January 7, 2008 10:34:54 AM PST
Experts report that Chicago-area traffic congestion is getting worse. Why is there more gridlock, and can anything be done about it? We'll find out on this NewsViews. Two traffic experts say charging motorists who drive during rush hours could reduce the Chicago area's growing gridlock. The experts, professor Joe Dijohn and Randy Blankenhorn, are this week's guests on NewsViews. They spoke after a national survey reported in a key category, Chicagoland's congestion is second worst in the country.

"If we could manage how people use the roadway, if we could manage how people use our system by pricing it differently based on congestion, based on time of day, based on the type of vehicle, I think there's a real opportunity out there," said Randy Blankenhorn, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

"The highway is a free good. And one way of allocating that resource is to charge, and pricing would essentially manage demand, and hopefully reduce the congestion," said Prof. Joe Dijohn, University of Illinois in Chicago.