Tolling White Papers

From AJ: The State of Oregon, the long-time US leader in transport finance, has posted a series of Tolling White Papers (about 2/3 down the page) Topics include:
Air Quality/Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Is pricing the best tool for reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions?
Geographic and Situational Limits: Are there places in Oregon where tolling should not be considered? Are there conditions which should be defined and met for a tolling or pricing project to be successful?
Demand Projection Sufficiency: Are current travel demand models sufficient to effectively evaluate toll projects?
Economic Evaluation of Improved Reliability: How do we define and measure travel time reliability for personal and commercial travel, across a broad application of congestion pricing?
Assessing the Economic Effects of Congestion Pricing: How does “pricing” urban highway networks affect transportation, people and businesses?
Economic Comparison of Alternatives: How do you determine if tolling is a better alternative than other non-tolled options such as adding capacity or transit services?
Truck-Only Toll Lanes: Are truck only toll lanes a viable option for Oregon?

Lake Wobegone County, Minnesota

From the Strib: For real? Bill would create Lake Wobegon as a county

Several St. Cloud area legislators this morning are announcing legislation that calls for combining all of Stearns and Benton counties and the northern part of Sherburne County.
The bill is being written under the draft name “Lake Wobegon,” the fictional town of Minnesota radio storyteller Garrison Keillor. Any eventual reformulated county would be given a permanent name by its residents.

Several Minnesota cities are spread over two counties, but St. Cloud is the only one in three counties — and one of only a few like that nationwide, St. Cloud officials say.

The solution to congestion

From Jim Foti in the Strib: Lost jobs add up to speedier commute
One might add high gas prices (and the stickiness that results when people changed behavior in response), market saturation (how much more could we travel per capita anyway), and decreased non-work travel (associated with decreased spending) as additional factor besides unemployment which are resulting in reduced VMT and congestion.