Moves towards privatization, tolling, and congestion pricing are starting to capture the imagination of people around the country. In this very good (long, but well worth the read) piece in the Washington Post, the author profiles one Assistant Secretary of Transportation, Tyler Duvall, who has been laboring to move us away from the centralized, corruption-laden and inefficient pork-barreling of roads to the distributed, dynamic and common-sensical approach of congestion pricing. Of course, some lefty Congressman in the piece (DeFazio from Oregon) decides to call him a neocon – twice – in an attempt to invalidate Duvall’s insights and willingness to change (nevermind that Oregon was the original pay-per-use pilot):
"Tyler Duvall is a little pointy-headed neocon with grand ideas about the future of transportation, and they all involve tolling," DeFazio said. "He’s bright, young, energetic — just totally wrong, and has a bizarre, neocon view of transportation."
Neocon, huh? One need only read this important testimony from the big lefty thinktank the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) to see that Duvall is neither crazy, partisan, nor necessarily neocon:
If we do not want to see even higher levels of congestion when Congress revisits the TEA-21 Act in 2009, moving forward this year to remove restrictions and provide incentives for the greater use of tolls to expand our nation’s infrastructure will be critical.
Who woulda thunk it? Progress, apparently, is "progressive". Looks like status quo bureaucrats are going to have to acknowledge that, as Duvall says, the "genie is somewhat out of the bottle" when it comes to letting the market drive transportation. Oh, and if you hear some recalcitrant lefty whine about "equity" — just ask them: where are the equity considerations in the regressive half-cent sales taxes meant to fund light rail?