Wednesday, 7 March 2012

News briefs this week: Hong Kong, North Carolina, Missouri

Hong Kong

The South China Morning Post report on candidates indicates that Albert Ho Chun-Yan, candidate for the Chief Executive position of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (for the Democratic Party), is the only candidate expressly supporting road pricing.  He is not ahead in the polls, but it will be interesting to see if the election on 25 March will result in whoever wins reinvigorating interest in road pricing in Hong Kong, as this was subject to a major study in the late 1990s including trials of GPS distance based charging using a site at the closed Kai Tak Airport.   Hong Kong has plenty of scope to introduce road pricing to manage congestion and is such an obvious place to introduce either distance or zone based congestion pricing (having already got tolls on the cross harbour tunnels).

North Carolina

In the Fay Observer, Jimmy Keefe - a member of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, serving District 2 - writes criticising the plan to toll I-95 in the state. He opposes it. His view is that the money from tolls will eventually go to other purposes, that the toll will be a burden and that it will drive traffic onto parallel roads. He seems not to approve of the upgrade, and he certainly doesn't offer an alternative for funding.

Missouri

The plan in Missouri to allow tolls on the I-70 Interstate highway includes the option for a PPP to rebuild the highway according to the website of TV station KOMU.  The intention is the upgraded highway be leased for some years.

It reports: MoDOT chief engineer Dave Nichols said. "We're looking for an opportunity to rebuild the corridor, relieve the congestion and keep the toll roads as low as possible."

Missouri DOT has a website about the proposal, which involves reconstruction of 200 miles of east-west highway.  Adding one lane each way would cost US$2 billion, adding dedicated truck lanes ( given a third of the traffic is truck) would cost US$4 billion.  US$2 billion would require a US$0.07 per gallon increase in fuel tax or US$0.003 increase in sales tax.

Banner for the proposal

Route of the proposed upgraded highway

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