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The National League of Cities (NLC) has released a new guide, “Making Space: Congestion Charging in Cities,” which encourages cities to consider congestion charging systems as a potentially economical solution to build thriving communities, calm traffic, and improve quality of life for residents.

Congestion pricing is a type of road user charge system in which a flat or variable rate fee is charged to vehicles that drive in a specified area or zone within a city. Congestion pricing models can help communities properly price the use of roadways.

In “Making Space: Congestion Charging in Cities,” NLC explores how congestion charging systems can become a practical funding alternative to keep up with the nation’s transportation mobility projects. The report explains how congestion charging works, reviews different pilot programs, and shows the potential advantages and barriers to implementing pilots in the U.S.

NLC notes that the billions of dollars raised from congestion pricing could potentially go toward fully upgrading American infrastructure, which currently has a D+ grade from the ASCE.

Congestion pricing is a new and emerging framework that does not yet exist in the U.S., although New York City is about to launch a congestion charge. The NLC report includes case studies of congestion charging from London, Stockholm, Singapore, and New York City.

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