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The Location Effects of Alternative Road-Pricing Policies

Alex Anas

May 2013, English

Just as physical infrastructure affects urban development patterns, the taxation of motor vehicle use and the pricing of road infrastructure shape land policy by affecting location choices and land values. Researchers and planners have debated the impact of tolls, congestion charges, and gasoline taxes on metropolitan development patterns. The locational setting and spatial coverage of toll systems, congestion pricing, or fuel and vehicle taxes have implications for residential and employment location. In theory, congestion charges focused on central locations could either attract jobs and residents to these areas or displace them. Careful simulations by Alex Anas in this paper suggest that congestion tolls in central areas are likely to move jobs and residents to suburban areas, whereas a metropolitan-wide gasoline tax is likely to cause both jobs and residents to concentrate in the city.

This paper was presented at the Lincoln Institute’s annual Land Policy Conference in 2012 and is Chapter 6 of the book Infrastructure and Land Policies.