ACCESS 02, Spring 1993


Melvin M. Webber

The first issue of ACCESS seems to have been well received, so we're pleased to continue these summaries of our research. Paralleling the spurt of work on new transportation technology, there's been renewed attention to institutional means for improving the nation's transport system. We focus here on several such fiscal and organizational tools for decreasing solo driving, increasing transit riding, and thereby reducing highway congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption.

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Cashing Out Employer-Paid Parking

Donald Shoup

Employer-paid parking is an invitation to drive to work alone. Thus, it increases traffic congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption. To deal with problems created by employer-paid parking, I propose a minor technical change in the Internal Revenue Code. The proposal is that employers who subsidize employee parking should be required to offer employees the option to take a taxable cash travel allowance equal to the fair market value of the parking subsidy. Case studies and a statistical model suggest that offering employees the option to cash out their parking subsidies could reduce solo driving to work by 20 percent, reduce automobile travel to work by 76 billion miles per year, save 4.5 billion gallons of gasoline per year, eliminate 40 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, and increase tax revenues by $1.2 billion per year. These objectives would be accomplished by offering commuters the option to take taxable cash in lieu of a free parking space.

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Congestions Pricing: New Life For An Old Idea?

Kenneth A. Small

Driven by problems of traffic congestion, U.S. policy toward urban highways has lurched over several decades from highway building to high-occupancy-vehicle lanes to travel demand management. Yet congestion has worsened, and there is scant evidence that these policies have had any appreciable effect on it. As financial straits tighten, policy analysts are looking for new solutions. Meanwhile, economists have been polishing up a long-standing proposal known as congestion pricing. Under this policy, drivers would have to pay a very high fee for driving on the most popular roads during peak hours. We already expect to pay top price for long-distance phone calls during business hours, and many of us wait for discounts at night. But can the same concept work for highways?

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Private Toll Roads in America – The First Time Around

Daniel B. Klein

The notion of private highways, which must have seemed fantastic to Americans just a few years ago, was commonplace to our great-great-grandparents. Built in the 1790s in the growing Republic, the first toll roads stimulated commerce, settlement, and population. Fiscal constraints and insufficient administrative manpower led communities to search outside the public sector for help. During the 19th century more than 2,000 private companies financed, built, and operated toll roads. A glimpse at our history may provide a useful perspective on today's budding toll-road movement.

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Investigating Toll Roads in California

Gordon J. Fielding

Californians are used to driving on highways for free, but today free driving also means slow driving. Highway congestion is increasing in urbanized areas, and there's not enough money to both maintain and expand existing roads. To raise funds, as well as discourage drive-alone travel, California legislators are now rediscovering the once-dreaded toll road.

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2018-02-09T22:52:46+00:00Categories: ACCESS 02, Spring 1993|Tags: |

Telecommuting: What’s the Payoff?

William S. McCullough

Science fiction writers and high-tech enthusiasts may envision a world without commuting. Already, modern telecommunications technology allows people separated by hundreds of miles to work together as if they had adjacent desks. By simply lifting a phone, or switching on a computer modem, we can do our office work from anywhere- even from home. But the convenience telecommuting offers is not problem free.

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2018-02-09T22:51:28+00:00Categories: ACCESS 02, Spring 1993|Tags: |

Surviving in the Suburbs: Transit’s Untapped Frontier

Robert Cervero

Living in suburbia, owning a house, and watching the kids play on a green lawn was the American dream as early as the 1800s. At first, mass transit was crucial to suburban life, with streetcars and rail lines providing access to new residential areas outside of cities. After World War II, as automobiles became even more popular and the pace of suburbanization accelerated, the American dream expanded to include two cars in every garage. For the mass transportation industry, this spelled disaster.

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2018-02-09T22:53:49+00:00Categories: ACCESS 02, Spring 1993|Tags: , |
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