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Would You Pay to Drive Here?

A couple of items poke us in the eye this morning with the heat of 10 million burning suns. First, and this is the setup component, a report from the Reason Foundation, a libertarian policy research group, has named California as having the worst traffic congestion in the US. Via CNN:

It will come as no surprise to any visitor to Los Angeles lately that California has the worst urban-interstate congestion in the nation; the report deemed 83.3 percent of the roads in the Golden State as congested. Other gridlock centers were Minnesota (77.8 percent), New Jersey (73.4 percent) and North Carolina (72.5 percent). Second, the LA Times reports that LA County transit leaders are looking into congestion pricing - basically a toll on some of our freeways, allowing access to restricted lanes which would be less congested and thus move faster. It's the hot new trend in transportation. We can't believe you haven't heard about it. Even President Bush is into it, and he's... well, let's just say he's special. The MTA agreed on Thursday to begin planning for new toll roads on our freeways which would be implemented over the next three years. Money from the tolls would be used to fund subways, busses and more roads and the improved mass transit systems would reduce pollution, thereby benefiting us all. If you're against it, you hate America.
· Will gridlocked L.A. heed this toll call? [LA Times via archinect]
· Gridlock: Worst traffic in America [CNNMoney]