WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

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Planners Survey Area Residents On Transportation Solutions

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Regional transportation planners are trying to determine the best way to alleviate the area's transportation gridlock.
Victoria Pickering (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vpickering/3910289274/)
Regional transportation planners are trying to determine the best way to alleviate the area's transportation gridlock.

Imagine having tolls on every major roadway in the D.C. metropolitan region. That's one scenario being considered by regional transportation planners.

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board will release a study [PDF] today detailing what the public thinks should be done about congested roads and the lack of funds to fix them. One scenario is adding toll lanes on all the interstates and other major roads. Another involves charging a per-mile fee on every street and road in the area using GPS systems in your car. And a third scenario outlines priced zones, in which drivers pay a fee to enter or drive within a designated area.

The National Capital is studying whether any of those scenarios would work to reduce congestion and increase transportation funds. The planners formed five forums totaling 300 people, two in Virginia, two in Maryland, and one in D.C. They weighed the participants' attitudes toward the different kinds of congestion pricing.

The toll lanes option was most popular. The idea of using GPS to monitor how far drivers travel was unpopular because of privacy concerns. The 65-page report will be released at the board's monthly meeting this afternoon.

NPR

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