Skip to main content
Past Event

Easing the Traffic Jam through Congestion Pricing

Public investments in our nation’s infrastructure have been an important aspect of our American heritage. As a result, many citizens view it as their right to travel freely on the country’s roads and bridges. But urban traffic congestion is taking a significant economic toll on commuters, with the Texas Transportation Institute estimating in 2005 that the average peak-period motorist spends an extra 38 hours of travel time and consumes an additional 26 gallons of fuel annually. The result is an estimated cost to these urban commuters of approximately $710 per year.

Brookings’ Hamilton Project and Metropolitan Policy Program hosted a discussion on the merits and potential barriers to congestion pricing as a tool for combating urban gridlock. Brookings Fellow Robert Puentes provided an overview of the national transportation landscape and David Lewis, senior vice president with HDR Decision Economics, discussed his proposal for a coordinated federal-state policy framework for congestion pricing. A panel of experts discussed the proposal in the context of the current national debate.

Event Materials:

Download full event audio »
America’s Traffic Congestion Problem: Toward a Framework for Nationwide Reform, by David Lewis



Jason Furman

Former Brookings Expert

Aetna Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy - Harvard University

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Peterson Institute for International Economics

Opening Remarks


Roundtable Participants


David Heymsfeld

Staff Director, House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure


Ronald F. Kirby

Director of Transportation Planning, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

More Information

(202) 797-6105

To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.


Get a weekly events calendar from Brookings