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12th International HOV Systems Conference: Improving Mobility and Accessibility with Managed Lanes, Pricing, and BRT

Conference Proceedings


Heidi Stamm, HS Public Affairs, Presiding

Public Perceptions in Remarkable Times: Tracking Change Through 24 Years of Houston Surveys

Stephen Klineberg
Rice University

It is a pleasure to participate in the closing session this morning and to discuss the results of the public opinion surveys that we have been conducting in Houston for the past 24 years. Houston is a fascinating city, facing virtually all of the issues you have been talking about at this conference, including mobility, traffic congestion, and burgeoning ethnic diversity. Houston was riding the oil boom to continual prosperity through most of the 20th century; then suddenly the city had to come to grips with a radically different set of realities in the 21st century.

For almost a quarter-century, we have conducted annual random-digit-dialed telephone interviews, in English and Spanish, with representative samples of Harris County residents. In 13 of the past 15 years, the surveys were expanded to reach at least 450 Anglos, 450 blacks, and 450 Hispanics. In 1995 and 2002, the research included large representative samples from Houston's entire Asian population, the only such surveys in the country. No other city in the nation has been the focus of a long-term study of this scope, and none more clearly exemplifies the remarkable ongoing transformations of urban America.

When the first survey was conducted in 1982, Houston was still in the midst of its extraordinary boom. Between 1970 and 1982, almost 1 million people — mostly non-Hispanic whites — were streaming into the Houston metropolitan region. The population was growing by more than 1,300 per week. Every day on average, 250 additional cars and trucks were trying to navigate the streets and freeways of Harris County. The boom was the result of a 10-fold increase in the value of oil between 1970 and 1982. In 1980, 82 percent of all the area's primary-sector jobs were tied into the business of refining hydrocarbons into gasoline and petrochemicals and servicing the world's oil and gas industries. Houston was the undisputed resource and energy capital of the world, the Golden Buckle of the Sun Belt, the bastion of classical laissez-faire capitalism, the epitome of free enterprise America.

In May 1982, two months after the first survey in this series, the oil boom collapsed. The price of a barrel of Texas crude dropped from about $32 in early 1982 to less than $28 by the end of 1983, and then plummeted to $10 in 1986. Houston recovered from the deep recession of the 1980s to find itself in the midst of a restructured economy and a demographic revolution, at the center of the sweeping changes that have redefined the nature of American society itself in the 21st century.

Utilizing a variety of identical questions over the years, with new items added periodically, the surveys record a rich array of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, as well as measuring attitudes and beliefs in many different areas. They have tracked the public's perspectives on economic conditions, poverty programs, crime rates, mobility issues, downtown development, and transportation. The surveys have assessed area residents' attitudes toward the region's air and water quality, government programs, and public education. Attitudes toward immigration and ethnic diversity, discrimination and affirmative action, abortion, homosexuality, and other dimensions of family values have been measured.

Houston recovered from the 1980s recession to find itself in a more problematic economy. The vigorous "resource economy" of the Industrial Age has now receded into history. The "blue collar path" to financial security has largely disappeared. Almost all the good-paying jobs today require high levels of technical skills and educational credentials. In 2004, 75 percent of those surveyed disagreed that "a high school education is enough to get a good job" and in 2005, 64 percent agreed "there are very few good jobs in today's economy for people without a college education." From now on, as the saying goes, "What you earn depends on what you've learned."

During the quarter century after World War II, the rising tide lifted all boats. The richest 20 percent of American families doubled their incomes, but the poorest 20 percent increased their incomes even faster. The average American worker, wherever he was on the up-escalator, found his earnings steadily growing from one paycheck to the next. Those were the years of the stay-at-home housewife. The average American woman gave birth to 3.6 children, and the baby boom was launched upon the land.

In the new global, knowledge-based, two-tiered, "hourglass economy" of today, poverty increases even as the city grows richer. Opportunities narrow for many while they expand for others. Income inequalities grow ever wider and deeper. This is a very different kind of economy than the one we knew during the blue-collar Industrial Age.

The source of wealth today has less to do with natural resources and more to do with human resources. The nation's skilled and creative "knowledge workers" can live anywhere in the country. Talented individuals and leading companies are making business location decisions based on quality-of-life issues. Business leaders in Houston and other cities understand they must make major improvements in transportation, urban amenities, air pollution, crime, and other aspects of urban life to attract and retain the new knowledge-based workforce.

In recent years, the business community in Houston has taken a pro-active approach to address these issues. The "Quality of Life Coalition," formed in 2001, represents one example of the new approach. The goal of the coalition is to mobilize Houston's public and private sectors to accelerate tree planting and landscaping along the city's major thoroughfares and bayous, to expand parks and recreational areas, to remove billboards wherever possible, and to clean up litter and graffiti. The business community has also taken a more active role in addressing air quality concerns.

Houston is in many ways a microcosm of America, but it is unusual in one important respect. This city was founded on the Buffalo Bayou, some 50 miles from any natural barrier in any direction. It became the rail hub for the area, with agricultural products brought in from the hinterland, transferred onto barges, and delivered to the Port of Galveston. On September 7th, 1900, in the worst natural disaster in American history, the Great Storm destroyed Galveston. Four months later, the Spindletop blew near Beaumont. Houston was at the center of the Oil Age, and the dredging of the Houston Ship Channel enabled it to grow into the second largest port in America.

This city was built by, for, and on behalf of the automobile, made possible by air conditioning, and it grew in all directions. Houston is the most spread-out major city in the country, with one-third the density of Los Angeles. The city limits cover more than 620 square miles, an area into which could be placed simultaneously the cities of Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit. The eight-county metropolitan area encompasses a total of 8,778 square miles, an expanse larger than the state of Massachusetts. No wonder Houston has been called "the blob that ate southeast Texas."

While Houston's downtown area is the most important, there are 18 major activity centers scattered throughout the metropolitan area. Some 85 percent of all the work commute trips go from one suburban area to another. It is difficult to serve this low-density development with public transportation.

A number of transportation-related topics have been tracked in the surveys over the 24-year-period. Even with the spread-out nature of the city, there has been growing support for making improvements in the downtown areas over the years. This support holds true for residents living inside the I-610 Loop and those living further out in the suburbs. There has also been increasing support over the years for mass transit, explicitly including a rail component.

One of the survey questions has asked residents of the city if they would be interested in someday moving to the suburbs and suburban residents about their interest in moving to the city. In 2004, for the first time in the surveys, more suburban residents indicated an interest in living in the city and than city residents saying they were interested in moving to the suburbs. The 2004 survey was conducted in February, just one month after the city hosted the Super Bowl and the opening of the LRT line. These two events may have influenced the responses in 2004, so the question was repeated in 2005. The surveys revealed a tripling (from 4 to 12 percent) between 2003 and 2005 in the number of suburban Anglos saying they were "very interested" in someday moving to the city. This does indeed appear to be a real and lasting change, one with important implications for the future of downtown development.

My sense is that we will continue to see a growing interest in living in the central city on the part of suburban residents. I think this interest reflects three phenomena. First, many of the most creative young people will want to live where the action is, not in track suburban housing. Second, many empty nesters will be interested in moving back to the central city for its expanding cultural and other amenities. Third, while the downtown area is just one of 18 major activity centers in the city, it remains the location of many of the best jobs, the headquarters of most of the city's major corporations.

There has also been a change in perceptions with regard to environmental issues over the years. For example, support for requiring vehicle emissions testing increased from 38 percent in 1995 to 74 percent in 2005. The ratings of Houston's efforts to control air and water pollution in the 2005 survey were the most negative ever given on any question in all the years of this research. Fully 45 percent of the respondents rated the city's efforts to improve the quality of its air and water as no better than "poor."

Respondents are asked each year to identify the biggest problem facing people in the Houston area. Traffic has ranked as the major problem both at the beginning and at the end of the 24-year period. The economy was named as the biggest problem during the mid 1980s, and crime was the predominant preoccupation in the mid 1990s. Traffic has continued to rank as the greatest concern of area residents in all of the past six years.

During this same 24-year period, Houston has been transformed from a biracial Southern city dominated by white non-Hispanic males into one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the country. Approximately 1.2 million people lived in Harris County in 1960. Anglos accounted for some 74 percent of the population; 20 percent were black, 6 percent were Hispanic, and less than 0.5 percent were Asian. Whites were streaming into the area during the oil boom years. Houston grew by 38 percent in the 1960s and by 29 percent in the 1970s. By 1980, this was now the fourth largest city in America with a population that was still 63 percent Anglo. Only 15 percent of Harris County residents in 1980 were Hispanic, and 2 percent Asian.

With the collapse of the oil boom in 1982, the Anglo population stopped growing. The numbers grew by 1 percent in the 1980s, and then declined by 6.3 percent in the 1990s. Meanwhile, between 1990 and 2000, Harris County's black population grew by 22 percent, the Hispanic population by 74 percent, and the Asian population by 76 percent. In the year 2000, there were 3.4 million people living in Harris County, of whom just 42 percent were non-Hispanic whites. The area's population was now 33 percent Hispanic, 18 percent African-American, and 7 percent Asian or other.

The metropolitan regions of Los Angeles and New York together contain more than one-third of all foreign-born residents in America. Then come four smaller but important gateway cities — Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston. Of these cities, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse, with a more balanced distribution among America's four great ethnic communities. By 2004, the state of Texas had joined California, along with New Mexico, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, in majority-minority status.

Americans are living longer and healthier lives than ever before in human history. The current population of senior citizens is disproportionately Anglo, and they will soon be joined by the predominantly Anglo baby-boom generation. The 73 million Americans who were born during the halcyon days after World War II (1946-1964) are now aged 41 to 59. In the course of the next 30 years, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will double. The younger populations who will replace the baby boomers are disproportionately non-Anglo and considerably less privileged. These trends are particularly striking in Houston. The surveys indicate that 75 percent of everyone now living in Harris County who is 60 years old or older is Anglo, and close to 70 percent of all those under the age of 30 are either blacks or Hispanics. Clearly, if this community's "minority" youth are unprepared to succeed in the knowledge economy of the 21st century, a prosperous future for the city as a whole seems unlikely.

These economic and demographic changes will continue to impact the transportation system, the school system, and many other aspects of the urban scene. As that ancient Chinese curse would have it, we are indeed living in "interesting times." How well this city addresses these trends will be significant not only for the future of Houston but for the future of America as well.

Round Table Discussion and Open Forum

Chuck Fuhs
Parsons Brinckerhoff

My comments focus on the traditional component of the 12 TRB international HOV conferences — that is HOVs. As we look at managed lanes and variable-pricing strategies, it is important that we not lose sight of the important role buses, vanpools, and carpools — HOVs — play in providing mobility and helping manage congestion.

This morning, buses in the XBL lane in New York City carried some 30,000 riders. Another 15,600 people an hour are using the El Monte Busway on the San Bernardino Freeway in Los Angeles. By the end of the day approximately 116,000 people will use the six HOV lanes here in Houston. These facilities have been performing at these levels for many years and should continue to do so in the future.

Many of the individuals responsible for planning, designing, developing, operating, and approving these HOV projects have retired or have moved on to other responsibilities. It is important to remember that we have new policy makers and stakeholders who may not know the background of current HOV projects or the benefits they provide. This conference has provided a wealth of information. It is up to each of us to communicate this information to others — both technical staff and policy makers — and to assist them in making informed technical and policy decisions.

Metropolitan areas throughout the country are considering different alternatives and moving in different directions, based on local needs and concerns. Depending on the final language in the Reauthorization of TEA-21, California and a few other states will be focusing on the use of HOV lanes by hybrid vehicles and what to do if demand exceeds capacity. Here in Texas, the implications of adding a toll element to the planned HOV system will be considered in Austin. A focus in San Diego is access to a managed-lane system. Different operating strategies are being considered for planned pricing projects in Seattle and Denver. The first freeway HOV lane is being planned in the United Kingdom. Funding issues are a concern in Charlotte. These issues illustrate the diverse needs of each area.

The information from this conference will be of use as we examine the choices being considered in these and other metropolitan areas. Choices relating to modes, technologies, markets, and funding are all being examined. While we will continue to see different approaches being taken in various areas, I think the HOV component — buses, vanpools, and carpools — will continue to be a key part of most projects.

Dan Beal
American Automobile Association

It is a pleasure to participate in this closing session. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has almost 48 million members in the U.S. and Canada. With over six million members, the Automobile Club of Southern California is the largest of the some 70 AAA affiliates in the U.S. We are very interested in HOV facilities, HOT lanes, managed lanes, and other topics addressed at this conference. The AAA's policy has always stressed the best possible use of prior, current, and future transportation investments.

In considering these topics, I think it is important to remember that the personally-owned vehicle will continue to be the main source of mobility in the future. By comparison, every other mode is a niche operation. While we need to support and help expand use of these other modes, the personal vehicle will continue to be the main source of transportation for most people, although we may see changes in the propulsion or the fuel systems.

The automobile provides numerous benefits to all segments of society. It has reduced the isolation of rural areas, it has provided mobility and access to jobs and it has made social and recreational opportunities available to all groups.

Let me offer a few comments from the customer or user perspective, as we hear a great deal from our members on a wide range of topics. First, there is a credibility problem among elected officials, especially at the state level. Many states are diverting gasoline tax revenues and other resources that should be going to transportation improvements to fund other projects, including schools and prisons. In California, some $5.5 billion has been transferred from the transportation account to the state general fund over the past four years, either directly or indirectly. I understand that here in Texas close to $10 billion from the transportation fund has been used for other non-transportation purposes over the past 10 years. I also understand that toll facilities are being pursued very aggressively here to help finance new projects. If a portion of the gas tax revenues continue to be used for non-transportation purposes, the end result may not be as big a gain as anticipated.

Second, in the discussion of pricing and tolling, do not discount the public's aversion to converting existing roadways and freeways to toll facilities. You have to look no further than Austin to see the public's negative reaction to tolling roads that were previously presented as non-toll roads. The website,, which is a play on the Boston Tea Party, provides an indication of the strength of the opposition to toll roads in the area. Further, the mayor of Austin and some members of the City Council are facing recall petitions. If you are going to introduce tolling, do so on new capacity, not existing roadways.

Third, do not immediately rush to pricing if you have capacity in an HOV lane. In southern California most HOV lanes are at capacity and in some cases over capacity, but other areas of the country may have HOV lanes with available capacity. In these cases, do not assume that pricing is the highest and best use of the HOV lane. Other options to explore include subsidizing super-HOVs, increasing bus use, truck-only lanes, or converting it to a general-purpose lane if there really are not enough HOVs in the corridor.

Fourth, as noted in one of the presentations yesterday, there is a need to evaluate the unique elements of individual projects. Many people talk about I-15 in San Diego and SR 91 in Orange County as if they were the same type of project, when the are actually very different. Every project and every situation is different. A set approach should not be applied to all projects.

Fifth, do not overload the discussion of pricing and other alternatives with policy objectives. Too often we turn a relatively simple idea to a Christmas tree, with everyone hanging an ornament. An example is allowing hybrids to use HOV lanes, which makes no sense. Why do we reward the purchase of a vehicle that is already in demand? Further, other gasoline-powered vehicles on the market in California have lower emissions and get better gas mileage. A second example is the policy suggestion to rebate tolls for low-income individuals. There are many things low-income individuals cannot afford. Pricing is supposed to influence people making travel decisions. What is accomplished if these influences are removed for a whole group of people?

Sixth, do not change the objective or message in mid-stream. We have been telling people for 30 years to double up and share a ride to gain the benefits of using an HOV lane. Now we are kicking them out so we can sell the space. What kind of policy message is being sent by this change? In Southern California and in other areas we will have to face a policy change to 3+ HOVs because the HOV lanes are becomming too congested at the 2+ level. While this change will be painful, it will be necessary.

Seventh, do not assume that the theory that glows within its own inner light makes good public policy. This conference has provided a practical focus. It is important that you communicate clearly with the public on what is being done and why it is being done. The recent discussion on a possible VMT tax in California provides a good example of how not to approach a topic. The discussion got out of control and you will probably not see a VMT tax in California anytime soon. The approach in Oregon was much different with the legislature developing a well reasoned approach, which will be pilot tested.

In closing, I would again like to commend you for an excellent conference and well reasoned discussion of some very important issues. AAA is please to participate in the conference. Remember the American public is your customer. Engage them in your discussions and form partnerships with them as you move forward with projects.

Alan Clelland
Sieman, ITS

It is a pleasure to participate in this session. I have been asked to comment on ITS and HOV/HOT lanes and value pricing. ITS provides enabling technologies to implement HOT lanes. We could not be talking about managed lanes, congestion pricing, and other alternatives without ITS. My comments will focus on ITS as an integration tool.

The need for integration was a common theme in many presentations during the conference. ITS plays a key, although overlooked, role in integration. There are different levels of integration. The first level of integration is institutional. As John Breeding pointed out yesterday, the customer expects the transportation system to function together. The public does not care if it is the state, county, city, or transit agency's responsibility — they want the system to work. All of these institutions must come together to make the system work. While the different components can operate individually, we will not optimize the system if they are not coordinated. For example, a city can operate its traffic signal system independently of other jurisdictions. This approach does not maximize the benefits of a synchronized and coordinated traffic signal system, however.

ITS has promoted institutional integration. ITS has brought agencies together to plan, fund, implement, and operate advanced transportation management centers, traveler information systems, and many other projects and services.

A second level of integration is technical integration. ITS plays a critical role in technical integration. Coordinating the timing of traffic signals, providing real-time traffic information, and many other services would not be possible without ITS.

A third level of integration is operational integration. Operational integration is key to the success of HOV, HOT, and managed lanes. A recent study conducted by the University of Maryland suggests that although there have been significant investments in traffic signal systems in the U.S., these systems are not operated correctly in most areas. One of the problems identified in the study is the lack of funding to keep the traffic signal timing up to date.

In 1987 it was realized that there was a need to increase funding to improve traffic signal systems. Significant investments have been made in traffic signal technology over an almost 20-year period. What we have realized, however, is that an equal investment has not been made in funding the operation of these new systems.

I think there is an opportunity to change this trend with managed lanes, value pricing, and HOV/HOT facilities because revenues are generated with their use. It is critical that the revenues from these projects are used to support their operation, including the ITS components, or we will not realize the full benefits of managed lanes, value pricing, and HOV/HOT facilities.

We have not been successful at communicating the benefits of what we do as transportation engineers and planners to the public and to policy makers. We need to do a better job of presenting information on the benefits of HOV/HOT and managed lanes. The presentation yesterday on the Los Angeles HOV evaluation program provides a good example of communicating the benefits of HOV facilities. A brochure focusing on the top 11 things people should know about the HOV lanes was used as the executive summary. It proved to be a good communication tool with elected officials and the public.

We have to improve our communications with key stakeholders. With ITS technologies we have the ability to collect and analyze a tremendous amount of data. Ensuring that we provide useful and understandable information to policy makers and the public based on this data is important.

I serve on the Transportation Commission for the City of Pasadena, California. A priority of the city is maximizing the benefits and developments associated with a new LRT line. There is an expectation on the part of some people that the LRT line and associated transit-oriented development will reduce the need for automobiles. The focus should be on reducing the number of trips made by automobiles, rather than expecting that people will totally give up their personal vehicles.

Katharine Nees
Carter & Burgess

I have been asked to provide a perspective from toll road operators. Toll authorities are in the business of selling a product that adds value. Toll operators are also in the customer service business. They provide their customers with a product — a toll facility — that provides benefits worth paying for. Customer service is critical because toll operators sell what public transportation agencies provide for free.

Toll authorities typically offer a product line. Toll operators are interested in HOV, HOT, and value pricing as an extension of their current markets or product lines. Toll operators can provide the tolling technology, the "back office" collection services, marketing, and toll enforcement.

In Texas, transit agencies, along with TxDOT, play a key role in developing and operating the HOV lanes in Houston and Dallas. Obviously, transit agencies want to ensure that the HOV lanes operate at a LOS that provides freeflow conditions for their buses. Transit agencies may be less concerned about generating revenues from HOT lanes. Toll agencies, on the other hand, are very interested in generating revenues to pay off the bonds used to finance projects and to finance system expansion. It is important to understand and acknowledge these differences. Defining the roles and responsibilities of public agencies and toll operators is critical with managed lanes and HOT lanes.

HOT lanes and managed lanes provide the opportunity to maximize assets by selling unused capacity to lower-occupancy vehicles. There is so much demand and so little available infrastructure that we need to maximize the use of available assets. The major issue, of course, is how to allocate the available capacity.

Expanding HOV lanes to include a pricing option is being considered in many areas. ITS and toll collection technologies are key to HOT lanes and value pricing. The tolling industry has an interest in HOT lanes because they can provide the toll technologies and "back office" services necessary for HOT lanes.

Most HOV lanes are located in radial freeway corridors focused on the downtown area. With the dispersed development patterns in most metropolitan areas, there are increasing demands for enhanced system connectivity. HOV, HOT, and toll roads can play an important role in providing regional connectivity. Here in Houston, HCTRA, TxDOT, and METRO are working together on these issues.

Most toll operators are moving away from cash-based payments systems to all-electronic tolling. Electronic tolling is much less labor intensive and it has environmental benefits from reducing noise and lights at toll plazas. Interoperability is also important. Toll agencies are examining interoperability on a national, not just regional, basis. The toll industry is watching the national vehicle infrastructure integration (VII) initiative. This initiative is examining vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. The VII will influence HOV, HOT, and toll facilities, as well as freeways and roadways. In the not too distance future, toll payment technologies will be imbedded in vehicles as a standard feature.

The use of open-road tolling (ORT) will become more widespread. ORT is basically non-stop tolling using either electronic or video tolling. I think the use of video tolling, which involves recording images of vehicle license plates and sending the owner a bill, will become more common. One of the limitations with this approach is that it relies on vehicle records from state agencies, which are not often up to date.

I think we can learn from the European model of transportation hubs. These hubs bring together different modes, including automobile, long-distance passenger rail, LRT, buses, and other modes. We have not really developed multi-modal transportation systems in most of our metropolitan areas.

Finally, I think we will see more use of public/private partnerships due to funding and financing needs. Public/private partnerships are based on a European model of concessionaries providing financing, operations, and maintenance. This approach is new to the tolling industry. Public/private partnerships are being used with some mega projects, which are having difficulty with funding. Private investors are buying major transportation assets, such as the Illinois Skyway, and operating them.

Adeel Lari
University of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Transportation

My comments focus on financing managed lanes. I think it is important to keep the revenue generating potential associated with HOV, HOT, and managed lanes in perspective with other elements of the transportation system. For example, Minnesota's system-wide HOT network is estimated to generate about $40 million a year in 2010 and $70 million in 2030. While $40 million is a significant amount, it is important to keep it in perspective of Mn/DOT's overall budget. In 2003, Mn/DOT's annual budget was $1.6 billion. The department's budget is estimated to be $2.5 billion in 2010. The estimated $40 million represents 1.6 percent of the total budget. The situation in Georgia appears to be similar to Minnesota in terms of the estimated revenue from the HOT lane network as part of the total transportation budget. These figures indicate that promoting managed lanes primarily as a financing mechanism may not be as strong a case as promoting the benefits of these types of facilities.

The luncheon speaker yesterday talked about how transportation agencies can work with private businesses to advance transportation projects. He noted that transportation creates value and adds value to landowners and businesses. There seems to be a disconnection between how we fund transportation and who receives the benefits. In Minnesota in 2003, approximately 40 percent of Mn/DOT's $1.6 billion budget came from the federal government, primarily from the fuel tax revenues. Approximately 25 percent came from the state fuel tax, 19 percent from the state vehicle tax, and 8 percent from the state vehicle sales tax. Bonds, interest income, and other related sources accounted for the remaining 8 percent.

None of these revenue sources include the landowners and businesses that benefit from the transportation system. Thus, the biggest beneficiaries of the transportation infrastructure are not contributing to its development and operation. Private businesses and landowners do not help fund the transportation system, but realize an unequally large share of the economic benefits from a good transportation system.

The luncheon speaker noted that businesses recognize the importance of mobility and a good transportation system and are sometimes willing to tax themselves to help pay for improvements. If the government continues to tax only the users of the transportation system they are choosing to give an unearned bonus to landowners. If the government is unable to build needed transportation improvements because of inadequate financing, and if they do not want to increase existing taxes, they are denying new travel options for users and economic benefits to landowners.

Recent experience indicates that new toll roads require subsidies, either cross-subsidies from another toll road or direct contributions from the public agencies. In the past 15 years, five major projects in the U.S. have been built with active private sector sponsorship and investment. These projects include the Dulles Greenway in 1995, at a cost of $378 million; SR 91 in 1995, at a cost of $326 million; the Southern Connecter in 2004, at a cost of $208 million; and Pocahontas Parkway in 2002, at a cost of $377 million. SR 125 will be opening soon at a cost of $722 million. All of these projects required public subsidies. I would suggest that not all the beneficiaries of the toll roads are contributing to their financing. We need to consider approaches to involve landowners and businesses in the financing of toll projects.

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