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How San Diego is solving it’s traffic problem

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Jul• 21•08

Last year, I wrote a blog post about how Los Angeles could fix its traffic problems.  Today, the San Diego Union Tribune reported that traffic has decreased between 3.3% and 9.1% during the week and between 5.2% and 11.9% on the weekends.  How has San Diego accomplished this?

Higher gas prices are the reason.  A pleasant byproduct of higher gas prices are that less people will drive.  Of course, when less people drive, traffic decreases.

As mentioned in the earlier post, instead of building more and more freeways, southern California should have implemented a gas tax or implement more toll on freeways.  Higher gas prices are in essence doing the same thing that a gas tax would.  Higher gas prices, however, end up in the pockets of oil companies whereas a gas tax could be used to create better public transportation infrastructure, thus making it easier not to use one’s car and thus further decreasing traffic.

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  1. Jeff says:

    In theory, you are correct; higher taxes can provide funds to improve infrastructure. However, in practice, those funds are often diverted by politicians to provide pork to constituents, in order for the politician to have a better chance at re-election. An example is the current gas tax. How much of it is used to improve infrastructure?

    As for the profits of oil companies, the do use that to pay stockholders and at times to give excessive pay to execs, but they also use it to fund exploration; that is how they stay in business.

  2. Jason Shafrin says:

    Marketplace reports that the Feds may increase the gas tax: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/07/21/gas_tax/

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