A Southern California group is promoting a new idea for reducing traffic in Los Angeles, one which could hit drivers right in their wallet.
The Southern California Association of Governments is promoting the idea of congestion pricing - charging drivers to use certain roads during rush hour - as part of its "100 Hours" campaign to raise awareness about traffic issues, reports NBC4 media partner KPCC.
"In the same way as if you made any other thing available for free then people will use more of it," said Brown University professor Matthew Turner, who has studied attempts at reducing traffic and agrees that charging a market rate to use roads is the most effective way to reduce congestion.
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The system has proven successful in cities like London, Stockholm and Singapore, reducing Stockholm's traffic by about 20 percent during peak hours. While Los Angeles has a different layout and different traffic patterns than centralized European cities, some separate densely crowded neighborhoods could be designated toll zones.
"We have to make the system we have work for us, and if you don't price the system right, it's not going to work," said Southern California Association of Governments Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata.