Tyler asks, Why doesn’t the public doesn’t accept road pricing? But in fact the public does accept road pricing – at least so long as their vehicles are stationary. I am speaking, of course, about pay-parking. Strangely, no one thinks it odd that they should have to pay for road space at point A and at point B but ask them to rent the space in between and you are thought a kook (or, much the same thing, an economist).
The radical disconnect between two things that are the same, suggests that the public’s lack of acceptance for road pricing is due to poor information, an inability to understand the theory, and the terrible weight of the status quo and is not a rational calculation (contra Tyler and Will Baude). I think, however, that we are on the cusp of major breakthroughs. Singapore has long led the way but London’s plan has been a great success. HOT lanes and toll roads are working in CA, Virginia and elsewhere. It won’t be easy but road pricing is the only solution to congestion in major metropolitan areas like Washington, the San Francisco Bay Area and Atlanta. Once a major city adopts the idea others will follow very quickly.
Addendum: We should pay for parking more often too.