Saturday, August 21, 2010

Proceedings of the 2010 Symposium on Mileage-based User Fees

The proceedings of the 2010 Symposium on Mileage-based User Fees that was held in Minneapolis, MN in April of 2010 are complete and available at the website of the University Transportation Center for Mobility (UTCM) at Texas A&M University.

In addition to the proceedings, you will also find a summary of the interactive discussion that was held on the closing day of the symposium as well as a summary of a workshop held on pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) insurance.

Preparations for the 2011 Symposium on Mileage-based User Fees in Denver, Colorado, are currently underway.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Road Pricing Public Acceptance and Outreach Webinar Mini-Courses

NOTE: There are limited slots available on a first come first served basis.

The Federal Highway Administration is hosting a webinar series on road pricing and public acceptance. The objective of this three-session, mini-course is to provide information and tools to transportation professionals to help them gain an understanding of public acceptance issues for congestion pricing, and strategies to help them address these issues. The target audience is transportation and public involvement professionals (agency staff, senior managers and consultants) in metropolitan areas considering the implementation of broader congestion pricing strategies. Multiple transportation professionals from various organizations within the same region are encouraged to participate in order to promote meaningful dialog between key stakeholders within participating areas.

The material presented in the webinar will include an overview of congestion pricing concepts and the associated public acceptance issues, followed by an interactive discussion on the experiences of various metropolitan areas, including the Twin Cities, New York City, and Seattle. In addition, there will be opportunities to brainstorm and discuss specific ideas and issues facing the areas represented by course participants. Participants will receive short summary readings for each of the formal case studies prior to the respective webinar session. They will also be given the opportunity to provide feedback both during and after each webinar.

Each webinar session will be approximately 90-minutes. The webinars will be held on August 24, September 7 and September 28 (Tuesdays) from 2 PM to 4 PM EDT. This mini-course will be formatted so that each webinar session will be useful independently. However, participants will gain the most benefit by participating in the entire series, as each session will build upon the previous ones.

Session 1: Gaining Public Acceptance - An Introduction to Road Pricing - August 24, 2010
Presenters: Ken Buckeye (MnDOT), Patrick DeCorla-Souza (FHWA), Lee Munnich (Humphrey Institute), and John Doan (SRF Consulting).
Value Pricing and Public Outreach: Minnesota's Lessons Learned (Munnich, Loveland, TRR 2005)
Value Pricing Education and Outreach Model: I-394 MnPASS Community Task Force (Buckeye, Munnich, TRR 2006)

Session 2: Seeking Approval- Lessons from PLANYC 2030 Congestion Pricing - September 7, 2010
Presenters: Patrick DeCorla-Souza (FHWA), Bruce Schaller (NYC DOT), Lee Munnich (Humphrey Institute), and John Doan (SRF Consulting).
New York City's congestion pricing experience and implications
for road pricing acceptance in the United States
(Schaller, Transport Policy, 2010)
Bruce Schaller NYC commissioner says road pricing must benefit motorists for acceptance (TOLLROADSnews, April 29, 2010)

Session 3: Outreach Strategies for Project Deployment
Featured Case: Seattle Road Pricing Program plus Participant Case (US 36) - September 28, 2010

Presenters: Patty Rubstello (WSDOT), Charles Howard (PSRC), Peggy Catlin (CDOT), Lee Munnich (Humphrey Insitute), John Doan (SRF Consulting), Patrick DeCorla-Souza (FHWA).
UPA Marketing Plan (Final Draft 8-18-2010)
Transportation 2040 Executive Summary
Final Tolling Committee Report (January 2009)

Participants may review summary readings for each of the formal case studies prior to the respective webinar session. They will also be given the opportunity to provide feedback both during and after each webinar and suggest case studies for future webinars.

To register for these courses, please click on the individual session below:

Session 1, August 24, 2010 Register Now!
Session 2, September 7, 2010 Register Now!
Session 3, September 28, 2010 Register Now!

Note: Continuing Education Units may be available for participants through the University of Minnesota. Professional Development Hours Credit Statement for Registrant Records

Friday, August 13, 2010

Survey: Americans Support Automated Speed Enforcement

In Arizona, there has recently been heated debate about a law to monitor speeding with automated devices, such as stationary cameras and radars monitored from afar. Around the country, these "automated speed enforcement (ASE)" proposals are starting to get more serious consideration, because there is research indicating that such tools increase compliance with speed limit laws and decrease related crashes and fatalities. ASE is already in use in some parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington, DC.

The University of Minnesota's Center for Excellence in Rural Safety (CERS) wanted to learn more about American drivers' attitudes on this issue. What we found was interesting.

At first glance, the public seems wary -- only 43% supported using these automated tools on "all roads." BUT, and this is a very significant "but," an overwhelming majority of American drivers supported using automated speed enforcement on some roads. For instance, an overwhelming 87% supported using it "on roads near schools," 83% supported using them "on roads where many people have died," and 75% supported using them "on roads where many people violate the speed limit."

Speed Enforcement.JPG

So, how do you design an automated speed law that garners strong public support? Pick your spots carefully.

A number of aspects of ASE is appealing to Americans. One particularly attractive pro-ASE argument tested was "no one has to worry about tickets if they simply obey the law," with 69% finding that either "very convincing" (41%) or "somewhat convincing" (28%). Another argument that was particularly persuasive was "speeding kills thousands of innocent people, so current methods aren't effective enough and new approaches are needed." Seventy-two percent of Americans found that argument either "very convincing" (33%) or "somewhat convincing" (39%).

On the other hand, the opposition arguments that were most convincing to respondents were "it would cost too many tax dollars to buy, install and maintain all of the cameras," "the government would invade privacy with the information they could gather," and "drivers would find ways to evade the camera and radar systems and avoid the law." Those are the primary concerns supporters of automated speed enforcement need to address to gain public support.

The bottom line? Americans do have understandable questions about the cost, privacy and effectiveness of automated speed enforcement technology, but they are open to piloting the approach in some areas, because they do believe the approach could save lives.

In other words, the new CERS survey delivers the same message as the automated speed devices out on the streets - proceed, at a safe speed.

For more information go to:

CERS National Rural Road Safety Public Opinion Survey

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