Ottawans are spending an average of 85 hours a year stuck in traffic, according to a GPS manufacturer, that has declared Ottawa the third most congested city in Canada.
Time is precious, and we seem to waste so much of it stuck in traffic. Congestion pricing can be a part of the solution. Traffic congestion has enormous economic costs, as well as health care costs due to air pollution. The money raised with tolls can be used to repair Ottawa’s potholes, reduce property taxes and make public transit more affordable.
When we ride the bus we have to pay a fare. Each time we fly, we have to pay a fee to the airport. However, when we drive, we can use the roads as often as we like for free. Congestion pricing is decried as a “cash grab” and politicians are wary of voters who drive and are reluctant to consider congestion pricing as an option. Instead it can be part of the solution!
Scanning technologies make congestion pricing simple and effective, with no toll booths or fumbling for change. Ottawa has the third worst traffic congestion in Canada. We must try to look at possible solutions.
Video series – Stuck in traffic with an Economist: http://ecofiscal.ca/reports/traffic/video-series-stuck-in-traffic-with-an-economist/?tubepress_item=tJokG-rmEMw
Additional information from Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission on congestion pricing: http://ecofiscal.ca/reports/traffic/
CBC interview with David Chernushenko: https://ecologyottawa.ca/2016/03/10/support-the-motion-on-traffic-congestion-fighting-tools/
On April 6th, Ottawa’s city council will consider a motion by Councillor Chernushenko to study best practices for reducing traffic congestion. The idea is to have this knowledge before 2018 when the city redoes its Transportation Master Plan. Email your City Councillor to let him or her know your support for the proposed traffic congestion study.
Contact information to Ottawa’s Councillors: http://ottawa.ca/en/city-council
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