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Roadway land costs: a case study of provincially-funded roads in the Greater Vancouver region Bagh, Signe K. 1993

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ROADWAY LAND COSTS:A CASE STUDY OF PROVINCIALLY-FUNDED ROADSIN THE GREATER VANCOUVER REGIONbySIGNE KAREN BAGHB.A., The University of Calgary, 1989A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTS (Planning)inTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(School of Community and Regional Planning)We accept this thesis as conformingTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAMay 1993© Signe Karen Bagh, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature) Department of , Ihoi /07 6/polcipiThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, Canada4Date ^L.744),-,:j?,^771-1/L/fy te.-7^p rP7/%yDE-6 (2/88)iiABSTRACTDecisions made regarding road building have far-flung consequences. Spending money on roadsmeans that other public goals such as farmland preservation, air quality improvement and provisionof housing may be frustrated. In order for knowledgeable land-use decisions to be made, the fullcost of roads needs to be examined.This thesis explores the issue of roadway land costs from a professional planning point of view. Amethod for calculating roadway land costs is developed and is then applied to provincially-fundedroads in the Greater Vancouver region.The case study revealed that annual provincial roadway land costs amount to approximately $162per automobile. Limited supplies of land and limited financial resources suggest that it may be timeto examine approaches that would make it less necessary to add capacity to the existing roadnetwork. Expenditures on roads can be reduced by shifting from current "supply side" tactics.This thesis suggests various policies that could be enacted to effect such a change.CONTENTSABSTRACT^LIST OF TABLES vACKNOWLEDGMENTS^ vi1. INTRODUCTION ^ 11.1 Problem Statement^  11.2 Rationale ^  11.3 Purpose 21.4 Methodology 21.5 Organization^  31.6 Definitions  32. LITERATURE REVIEW^ 52.1 Pollution Probe Study 52.2 Hanson Study^ 72.3 Litman Study 92.4 Peat Marwick Study^  122.5 Summary^  143. TYPES OF ROADWAY LAND COSTS^ 154. LAND VALUES^ 174.1 Historical Cost Method ^  174.2 The Ratio Method  184.3 Discount Method 204.4 Opportunity Cost Method^ 214.5 Calculation of Land Values 245. PECUNIARY COSTS SOMETIMES ASSOCIATED WITH ROADWAY LAND^ 315.1 Foregone Municipal Tax Revenue ^ 315.2 Foregone Investment Interest  38iiiiv6. LAND COST ALLOCATION^ 437.1 Allocation between Road Users and Other Beneficiaries^  437.2 Allocation among Road Users^ 437.3 Approaches Used in Practical Studies ^ 447.4 Allocating Costs in the Greater Vancouver Region ^ 457. TOTAL ROADWAY LAND COST^ 498. POLICY IMPLICATIONS^ 518.1 Why Money Spent on Roadway Land is a Critical Issue ^  518.2 The Role of Public Policy^  568.3 A Framework for Action 568.4 Possible Implementation Problems^ 689. CONCLUSION^ 73BIBLIOGRAPHY 74APPENDIX 1 ^ 79APPENDIX 2 82APPENDIX 3^ 83LIST OF TABLESTABLE 1: Estimated Roadway Land Values, By Municipality^  27TABLE 2: Foregone Municipal Tax Revenue^ 34TABLE 3: Foregone Interest^ 38TABLE 4: Costs Attributable to Automobiles^ 44TABLE 5: Each Vehicle's Effect on Atmospheric Pollution ^ 49TABLE 6: Motor Vehicle Tax Classification ^  56TABLE 7: Popularity of Measures to Reduce Traffic Congestion^  66vviACKNOWLEDGMENTSI wish to extend my appreciation to my supervisors, Professor Alan Artibise and Professor CraigDavis.I am grateful for the assistance of my friends and family, who provided both emotional support andpractical help along the way. A special word of thanks is due to David, who encouraged me topursue my dreams.Finally, I would like to thank the University of British Columbia for providing me with the financialsupport that allowed me to pursue graduate studies.11.0^INTRODUCTION1.1^PROBLEM STATEMENTRoads and other facilities provided for vehicles have a tremendous impact on the urbanlandscape. Indeed, one author has even suggested that urban planning has become nothing lessthan a "knee-jerk reaction" to the needs of the car (Mowbray 1968, 238). City residents needmany different facilities. Among these many facilities are roads. Roads are a necessary part of acity's infrastructure and can thus not be totally eliminated. However, the use of land for roadsentails a sacrifice because the land used for roads cannot be used for other purposes such ashousing, park land, farmland or countless other possible uses. There is only a finite amount ofland. When population increases, the pressures on land also increase. Road users often begin toexert pressure for improved facilities when existing roads become congested. With populationincreases and with more people acquiring automobiles and driving those vehicles greater distanceseach year, it does not appear likely that the demand for new roads will abate any time in the nearfuture. Indeed there are many transportation experts who believe that demand for new roads willnever end. Such beliefs are supported by the observation that the construction of new roads oftenonly exacerbates problems since such construction creates additional demand. Why is demand forroads insatiable? A major reason is that the market is not currently signaling that roadway land is ascarce resource.1.2^RATIONALEIf the reason behind current problems lies in the market sending incorrect signals, then theobvious solution would seem to lie in making the market send the "right" signals. How can that bedone? It can only be done by first determining the full social costs of automobiles. Currently,there is not much knowledge regarding this issue. This creates problems because, as NorbertWiener has said: "One of the great difficulties of policynnaking in any field is that policies cannotbe made indefinitely by dead reckoning. To sail a ship by dead reckoning alone, without sight of2the sun and stars, without the use of the lead, and without the possibility of a distant view of thecoastal landfall means ultimately to run up on the rocks" (Wiener 1993, pp. 116, 117). In theinterests of informed decision-making, it is important that the full costs of roads be acknowledged.There remain many aspects of the social costs of automobiles that have not yet been fullyexplored. Land costs are among the least studied issues. The few studies which do address landcosts often do so in a very vague manner and are generally based on many unexplainedassumptions.1.3 PURPOSEThe purpose of this thesis is to explore the issue of roadway land costs from a professionalplanning point of view. Recommendations will be made concerning policies that could be adoptedby the provincial government to confront drivers with some of the costs they impose upon society.Attempts will not be made to define the ideal subsidy level or the precise costs that should belevied against drivers. Such recommendations could only be made once a comprehensive analysisof all costs and benefits of roads has been completed. Such an analysis is beyond the scope ofthis thesis. It should be emphasized that some level of subsidy may be deemed appropriate. Afterall, education and health care are not required to "pay for themselves." Society may decide that itis appropriate to treat transportation facilities in a similar manner. Such a decision should not,however, be made without understanding the costs involved. It is hoped that this thesis will addto the existing knowledge base and ultimately contribute to informed debate on the costs of roads.1.4 METHODOLOGYRoadway land costs will be explored by conducting a case study of provincially-fundedroads of the Greater Vancouver region. Such an approach forces the researcher to confront thelimitations of data availability and also raises awareness of the complexity of the relevant issues.The case study was limited to provincially-funded roads because that was a manageable study unit.3^1.5^ORGANIZATIONThe thesis begins with a review of the existing literature. This review identifies severalcosts that are typically considered attributable to roadways. Subsequent chapters deal with themost commonly used methods of calculating the identified costs. Within each chapter, a rationaleis then given for selecting a particular approach to estimate costs in the Greater Vancouver region.A summary is given of the estimated total land costs of provincially-funded roads of the GreaterVancouver region. The thesis concludes with a brief overview of some policy implications.^1.6^DEFINITIONSThere are several terms in this thesis which may cause some confusion. In order to clarifythe intended meanings, these terms have been explicitly defined below:--Automobile refers specifically to privately-owned cars.--Equity refers to impartial justice and fairness, and not to the net financial interestin property.--The Greater Vancouver region is, within this thesis, defined to include thefollowing municipalities: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, City of Langley, District ofLangley, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey,Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, West Vancouver,and White Rock.--NOV stands for "High Occupancy Vehicle" and is defined, in this thesis, to be anyautomobile containing more than one individual.--Pecuniary roadway land costs are defined to include the tax revenue that isforegone on roadway property removed from the tax base, and financing costsassociated with roadway land.--Roadways include the paved surface of roads, as well as shoulders, ditches andany other land that must be purchased in order to build a road.--Roadway land value refers specifically to the value of the land on which a road isbuilt. This does not include foregone tax revenue or financing costs.--SOV stands for "Single Occupancy Vehicle" and refers to an automobilecontaining a driver, but no passengers.452.0 LITERATURE REVIEWIn the following section, several studies that have in some manner dealt with the issue ofroadway land costs will be reviewed. This review will demonstrate how others have approachedthe topic.Four studies have been selected for detailed analysis. These studies have all beenconducted within the last ten years, so the impacts and considerations they deal with are fairlycurrent. The studies cover a range of geographic locations. Two of the studies have Canadianlocalities as their focus; two have American focuses. The studies also represent differentcommunity sizes: one focuses on a province of 10 million people; another on the region of BritishColumbia's Lower Mainland; another on a U.S. county; and yet another on a medium sized city.The studies are written from a variety of perspectives. The authors include a public interest group,a private consulting group, a master's student and a practicing professional.2.1 POLLUTION PROBE STUDYIn 1991, Pollution Probe published a report entitled "Costs of the Car: a Preliminary Studyof the Environmental and Social Costs Associated with Private Car Use in Ontario." Pollution Probeis an Ontario-based public interest group which was founded in 1969. Its research and advocacyprograms are geared towards pragmatic solutions to pressing environmental problems.Pollution Probe focused on: government spending (for example: road construction,maintenance and policing); environmental damage and waste; health costs; and resource depletion."Most information was collected from published research reports or articles describing suchresearch" (Pollution Probe 1991, 3). Pollution Probe did not rely only on secondary information.Where necessary, additional information was obtained through "numerous in-person and telephoneinterviews. . . with government and industry officials" (Ibid.).6The Pollution Probe researchers focused on several aspects of land costs. First, theydiscussed the opportunity costs involved in using land for roads. The authors pointed out that the"car has had a great impact on Ontario's agricultural land. As more land is used for roads, parkinglots, garages, car washes and car dealerships, less is available for agricultural activity" (PollutionProbe 1991, 9).The value of land was considered an important 'cost.' Pollution Probe revealed that"successive Ontario governments have paved over a million hectares of land to construct the160,000 kilometres of highways in the province. Assuming a conservative price of$1,000/hectare, this land would be worth over $1 billion at current market value." The authors didnot go into great detail explaining how the $1,000/hectare value was calculated. The onlyexplanation given was a subnote which mentioned that "prices for land vary across Ontario,depending on the quality of land and location. Prime agricultural land in southern Ontario can costup to $3,500/hectare" (Pollution Probe 1991, 10).Pollution Probe estimated that the total cost of the car to the Province of Ontario amountsto $8 billion per year. This figure does not include costs of global warming, stress due to trafficcongestion, "car-related" court costs, Ontario Ministry of the Environment "car-related" spendingor individual ownership costs (Pollution Probe 1991, ii). The authors of the report acknowledgethat the omission of these costs will result in an underestimation of the real impact of cars. Theyexcuse the omission of this data by explaining that "the true cradle-to-grave cost of the car isbeyond the scope of (the) report, mostly due to the unavailability of sufficiently disaggregatedstatistics" (Ibid., 3).Overall, the Pollution Probe study provides a good summary of some of the environmentalcosts of car use but it fails to go into great detail regarding land costs or other costs which are notdirectly linked to pollution effects. The focus on the environment is not, however, surprising givenPollution Probe's mandate to deal with environmental issues.72.2 HANSON STUDYIn 1992, the American Planning Association published Mark Hanson's article on"Automobile Subsidies and Land Use: Estimates and Policy Responses." The study attempted toprovide "an empirical approximation of aggregate automobile subsidies" (Hanson 1992, 60). Thestudy focused on the mid-sized American city of Madison, Wisconsinl.Hanson believes "that automobile use in the U.S. has been subsidized directly throughhighway funding policies, and indirectly through externalities and petroleum subsidies" (Hanson1992, 60). He adds his voice to those of the Pollution Probe authors when he states that long-term subsidies and other factors have encouraged a pattern of urban and regional sprawl thatwould not have occurred if it were not for the privileged position of the automobile. He believesthat the U.S. transportation system has largely been based on and designed for the automobile(Ibid.).Hanson suggested that the effects of subsidies have occurred without much notice fromacademics. He said that the literature has generally not made any "systematic attempt toempirically treat subsidies in aggregate (or) to consider their influence on urban form" (Hanson1992, 61). He goes on to say that "there appears to be a widely held myth even among sometransportation professionals, that highway users pay for all the direct and operating costs ofhighways through user fees such as fuel taxes and registration fees. [A]ny research that has beenconducted has tended to be segmented and often focused on specific, complex subsidies that aredifficult to measure" (Ibid.).Hanson focused his research on issues that had previously only been dealt with in a verysuperficial manner. Wherever possible, Hanson used data that was specific to Madison orWisconsin. In fact, part of his reason for selecting Madison as the focus of his case study wasthat extensive data were available for that city. However, Hanson did in some cases have to resort1 In 1989 the population of Madison was 175,000.8to more generalized data. He stated that "where data (were) lacking for the specific case, regionalor national averages (were) used to construct a set of reference conditions" (Hanson 1992, 65).Hanson excluded certain externalities from his calculations because of insufficient data. Among theexcluded externalities were: community disruption due to physical barriers and noise; costsassociated with urban reorganization; costs of larger regional and global impacts attributable in partto the automobile (such as acid deposition); and the costs of private parking subsidies. Costswhich he did consider were: highway construction and maintenance costs, policing costs,environmental impacts such as air pollution and water pollution, personal injury costs, propertydamage, lost earnings, land use opportunity costs and petroleum subsidies (Ibid.).Hanson examined both direct and indirect subsidies. He defined direct subsidies as beingthose "for construction, maintenance, and operation of highways that are not funded by userfees." Indirect subsidies were defined to "include air pollution and related aesthetic losses, waterpollution, losses to society from human injuries, and opportunity cost of land used for the highwaysystem" (Hanson 1992, 61). Hanson reminded his readers that the magnitude of "indirectsubsidies is highly uncertain and methodologies to estimate them are controversial" (Ibid., 64).Hanson considered land costs to have both "direct" and "indirect" components. Heconsidered right-of-way acquisition to be part of construction costs, and therefore a direct cost(Hanson 1992, 63). Land opportunity costs were, however, classified as indirect costs (Ibid., 61).He said that "a land opportunity cost occurs when land, used for roads, could have been used forsome other purpose" (Ibid., 66). He suggested that "because roads do provide mobility andaccess, a subsidy in the form of an opportunity cost occurs if more than a necessary or 'optimal'amount of land is dedicated to highways" (Ibid.). He considered the determination of the optimalamount of highways and congestion to be beyond the scope of his research.Hanson concluded that foregone tax revenue should also be included in the calculation ofland costs. He used foregone property tax revenue as "a conservative estimate of the opportunity9cost of land" (Hanson 1992, 70). Prevailing tax rates were then applied to the one third of theroadway land that he deemed unessential for basic road service. He estimated that foregoneproperty taxes amounted to about $1 million (1983) dollars (Ibid., 66). This figure amounted toless than five percent of the total indirect subsidies that he tallied. He therefore came to theconclusion that "ignoring this cost would not significantly alter the overall subsidy levels" (Ibid.).He acknowledged, however, that "in larger cities with much higher land values and greaterproportions of highways to land area, this cost might grow more than proportionally withpopulation" (Ibid.).Hanson reached the conclusion that indirect costs of automobiles to the Madison areaamounted to $23 million per year. This was about twice the level of direct subsidies of $11.7million (figures given in 1987 dollars). He acknowledged that there was uncertainty as to theprecision of these values and therefore suggested that "the range of indirect costs could easily befrom 50 percent lower to at least 100 percent higher" (Hanson 1992, 65).2.3 LITMAN STUDYTodd Litman developed, as part of his Master's thesis, a full cost transport computermodel. In this model, he dealt with both direct and indirect costs. Among the many costs hediscussed was the cost of roadway land.Litman agreed with Hanson's contention that the opportunity cost of land must be takeninto consideration when calculating the total cost of roads. When land is used for road right-of-ways, it cannot be used for other purposes. When other usage could have resulted in higherrevenues, then the use of the land for roads may entail a loss to the public purse. This loss must,according to Litman, be counted as a road cost. He expanded on this point when he said that"since land used for roads is unavailable for other productive uses and earns no "rent" or taxrevenue, the value of land dedicated to roadways, beyond that required for a minimal level of1 0access, can be considered a subsidy to driving" (Litman 1992, 11). Litman claimed that reportsthat only consider the acquisition cost of land thus seriously under-represent true costs.Litman estimated total roadway land costs to be approximately $.01-.03 per vehicle mile.Litman claimed that this was the amount of money that would be needed to compensate societyfor the land dedicated to roads. He took the value of $0.015 per vehicle mile to be "a reasonableaverage value" (Litman 1992, 11).Litman did not appear to consider that the relative importance of fixed and variable costsmight play a factor in the per mile rates. For example, he does not mention that if fixed costs werevery high and variable costs minimal, a higher level of road usage (up to the point where more fixedcosts would be incurred) might actually decrease per vehicle mile costs since there would be morevehicles among which the total costs could be dispersed. By ignoring this factor, Litman'sapproach could conceivably overestimate the total cost. Traffic volumes are also an importantfactor in per mile rates. If traffic volumes were taken to be quite high, and were in factsignificantly lower, the "per mile" approach could underestimate the total cost. The approach ofusing per mile figures has significant limitations because such figures are heavily influenced by thetraffic patterns that prevailed at the time of the cost estimate.Litman appeared oblivious to the fact that although land used for roads may no longergenerate property tax revenue, those roads may indirectly create tax revenues through license fees,gas taxes and other vehicle-related taxes. Such taxes could not be collected if roads did not exist.It thus appears that Litman considers only losses without acknowledging that there might berevenue that could offset such losses.Litman was more detailed in his evaluation of land costs than were Pollution Probe andHanson. Litman considered financing costs to be an important element of total costs. Neither1 1Pollution Probe nor Hanson mentioned this cost. Litman also went further than Pollution Probe andHanson in that he allocated responsibility for different costs.122.4 PEAT MARWICK STUDYIn 1992, Peat Marwick Stevenson Kellogg (Peat Marwick) was hired by TRANSPORT 2021to conduct an analysis of the "full" costs of various modes of transport in the British ColumbiaLower Mainland. This study was to help TRANSPORT 2021 staff develop recommendations for aneffective long term transport plan for the Lower Mainland region (Peat Marwick 1993, 1). PeatMarwick used much of Litman's research as a basis for their study and engaged Litman as anAssociate. Although much of Litman's approach was used, Peat Marwick used secondary data(including Litman's data) only when local data was not available.Peat Marwick studied both private costs (such as vehicle operating costs and user charges)and public costs (such as environmental impacts) (Peat Marwick 1993, 1). The Peat Marwickstudy made no attempt to measure benefits unless such benefits directly offset particular costs.Peat Marwick calculated the value of the land devoted to roads by applying, to the land, theaverage value per hectare that applied to the municipality in which the road was located (PeatMarwick 1993, 27). Peat Marwick decided that the value given to roadway land must be the landvalue which would prevail if the road did not exist. The average value per hectare figure that PeatMarwick obtained from the British Columbia Assessment Authority reflected the value given to theland by road access. Peat Marwick decided to discount that value by 70 percent to estimate thevalue of the land as it would have been without roads.Peat Marwick's approach involves at least three assumptions. One assumption is that thevalue of land adjacent to roads is the same as the average value of land in a municipality. PeatMarwick acknowledged this assumption when they said that: "land assessments per hectare varywidely from area to area within a municipality" and that the average which was used for thecalculations "may not be represented (sic) of land adjacent to roadways" (Peat Marwick 1993, 28).A second assumption, and one which is not acknowledged, is that discounting the average value ofland would yield reasonable results. This assumption may create problems. The average value of13land is presumably heavily weighted by land that is not adjacent to major highways since most landparcels do not abut major roads or highways. This means that the average value of land is alreadyconsiderably lower than the value that would be attached to land adjacent to a major road.Discounting even the average land value by seventy percent, means that the land adjacent to roadsis being discounted twice: once as a result of using average assessed values, and then again whenthat average is discounted by seventy percent. A third assumption is that seventy percent is areasonable discount rate.Peat Marwick amortized land costs over ten years, but gave no rationale for selecting thistime period. The value of the total land area required for roads wider than a basic seven meters(20,000 hectares) was estimated to be $19,284 million before discounting and $5,785 milliononce a seventy percent discount rate had been applied (Peat Marwick 1993, 27). The costs thatthe market does not capture are "experienced by more than municipal and provincial taxpayers"—they are paid for by "society in general" (Ibid.).Peat Marwick concluded that roadway land values are difficult to assess. This difficultycan largely be attributed to the fact that, even among experts, there is no consensus on themethod which should be adopted. Every method involves some assumptions and the assumptionswill greatly affect the final values. It is thus not surprising that Peat Marwick freely admits that, ofall the figures they calculated, the figures given for roadway land values are among those in whichthey have least confidence (Peat Marwick 1993, 11).142.5 SUMMARYThe studies reviewed in this section all made at least some mention of the societal cost ofroadway land. Although land costs were considered important enough to be mentioned in all thestudies, several of the researchers stated emphatically that the figures given were very roughestimates. All the cost estimates that were given for roadway land rested on very generalassumptions. In most cases the grounds for accepting the assumptions were not explained. Itwould appear that there is a need for a study that probes in greater depth the costs associatedwith roadway land.153.0 TYPES OF ROADWAY LAND COSTSThe calculation of roadway land costs has not escaped the controversy and difficultiesassociated with the tallying of other road costs.Recent studies have suggested that there are three types of costs that should beconsidered in the calculation of total roadway land values (Pollution Probe 1991; Litman 1992;Hanson 1992; Peat Marwick Stevenson Kellogg 1993). These three costs are: the value of theland, the taxes potentially foregone when previously taxed lands are removed from the tax base,and the interest that is potentially foregone when money is spent on roads.Roadway land value is an important component of the total cost of roadways. PollutionProbe researchers discussed this cost when they revealed that Ontario had, over the years, "pavedover a million hectares of land" that was deemed to "be worth over $1 billion at current marketvalue" (Pollution Probe 1991, 10). Hanson also considered land value to be an important elementin calculating subsidies to automobiles (Hanson 1992, pp. 60, 65). In 1993, Peat Marwickconducted an analysis of the "full" costs of various modes of transport in the Vancouver region. Inthis study, Peat Marwick considered the value of land used for non-basic roads to be a subsidy todrivers. Roadway land value generally seems to be considered an important component of totalroadway costs.Foregone property taxes are also often considered to be a cost of roadway land. Hanson isone researcher who believes that foregone tax revenue should be included in the calculation of landcosts (Hanson 1992, 70). Litman is another researcher who mentioned that the loss of taxrevenue on the land used for non-basic roads can be considered a subsidy to automobile drivers(Litman 1992, 11). This cost is, however, a different type of cost than is the cost of actuallypurchasing roadway land. Property taxes may only in some cases be considered "foregone." Inmany cases, the taxes that are lost are made up for in other ways. From a societal point of view,the building of roads does not always mean a loss of property taxes.16Foregone investment interest is another cost component that is sometimes attributed toroadway land (Litman 1992, 11). This cost is also considerably different from the cost of actuallypurchasing roadway land. Although it may appear, on the surface, as if no interest is earned onthe money invested in roads, such interest often does exist, although in a slightly less conventionalformat than more traditional bond yields. The "returns to investment" can occur in such forms astravel time savings. From a societal point of view, there may indeed not be any real loss incurredfrom road investments.Foregone investment interest and foregone property taxes cannot be classified as the sametypes of costs as the cost of roadway land. However, since foregone investment and propertytaxes are often alleged to be integral components of total cost, they are included as part of thisthesis so that some appreciation can be gained for the extent of compensating revenue or benefitsthat are needed before such indirect costs will be "paid" for.The next three sections will deal with the three costs identified in this section: roadwayland value, foregone property taxes, and foregone investment interest. Each section will begin witha review and evaluation of existing and proposed methods of calculating these costs. A particularapproach will then be selected for application to the Greater Vancouver region.174.0 LAND VALUESLand values are a major component of total roadway land costs. The land value must bedetermined before either foregone taxes or foregone investment interest can be estimated. Yet,despite its importance, there is no universally accepted method of arriving at an estimate of landvalues. A review of the literature reveals that there are at least four different ways of determiningland values. Each of these has its advantages and drawbacks.4.1 HISTORICAL COST METHODHistorical costs are those which were originally incurred to build existing roads (Meyer1971, 39). Data for such costs can be obtained by referring to files indicating the originalpurchase prices of all the lands involved.One of the advantages of the historical cost approach is that it is relatively straight-forward.In addition, the data may, in some cases, be quite readily available. All one has to do to get thedata is to research the prices at which the land was originally bought.Historical costs could, however, only be considered equivalent to current costs if therewere no such thing as inflation. Inflation necessitates adjustments to original costs so that theycan be made comparable to present-day values. Under conditions of general price inflation, landvalues would be underestimated unless some adjustments were made (Meyer 1971, 39). Sincethere are currently no satisfactory land acquisition cost indices, the adjustment process canbecome rather problematic (Keeler and Small 1977, 9).Another major disadvantage of the historical cost approach is that it does not necessarilyreflect the current opportunity cost of roads. The roads may originally have been purchased at avery low price. Attaching this low cost to present roads denies the possibility that roads mightbring greater returns if used for higher-value purposes. The historical cost approach assumes that18roadway land was being used for the current highest and best use even at the time it was originallypurchased. This is a problem that is resolved by the opportunity cost method.The serious conceptual flaws of the historical cost method and the availability of moregenerally accepted methods have meant that this approach is rarely used in practice. Lack ofaccess to the Ministry of Transportation and Highway's files, means that this approach is not, inany case, a viable option for calculating roadway land costs for the Greater Vancouver region.4.2 THE RATIO METHODKeeler and Small are among the researchers who have proposed alternatives to thehistorical approach. In an attempt to determine optimal road pricing, Keeler and Small estimatedthe total value of roads in the San Francisco Bay Area. To estimate the value of roadway land,they first researched how much money was spent on constructing roads between 1947 and 1972.These values were converted to 1972 prices using the California Highway Construction Cost Index(Keeler and Small 1977, 6). The costs were then added up, "under the assumption of a 'one-horse-shay' depreciation policy, with an estimated lifetime of 25 years" (Ibid.). To determineroadway land values, Keeler and Small then assumed that the ratio of land acquisition costs toconstruction costs would remain fairly constant over the years. Given this assumption, they wereable to calculate the total value of roadway land. To do this, they merely took the total currentvalue of construction costs (1947-72) and multiplied this total by the ratio of land/constructioncosts which held during the 1968-1972 period. Construction costs and land values were brokendown into categories that reflected road types. So, for example, collector roads were notcompared to freeways. Keeler and Small were able to gather this data because "some new roads(had) been built in very recent years in each county" and land acquisition costs for these roadswere available (Ibid., 9).The ratio method allows researchers to use relatively current data. This can be a definiteadvantage because it means that researchers do not have to devise arbitrary land acquisition cost19indices. The exclusive reliance on current data can, however, also have its disadvantages. Forexample, if the land cost/construction cost ratio does not accurately reflect the ratios that haveapplied historically, then significant distortions in the data may be expected. One way tocircumvent this danger is to check the ratios which have applied historically. So, for example,instead of automatically assuming that a selected time period is reflective of others, studies can bedone to see how much the ratio has changed over the years. If there are significant fluctuations,then it may not be wise to use a ratio which differs widely from the norm. This is not a mootpoint. After all, it has been well established that the ratio between housing construction costs andlot prices fluctuates quite a bit. It would not be surprising if the same phenomenon applied toroads.Changing land cost/construction cost ratios may reflect changing land uses. If, forexample, a new freeway was built through a suburban community within a given county in the1968-72 period, land costs might account for a fairly high proportion of total costs. Theproportion of land costs would not be as high as for a freeway in the central city, but it wouldcertainly be more substantial than if the freeway were built through farmland. However, the areawhich is now suburban may, fifteen years ago, have been farmland. If a freeway was also built inthat area 15 years earlier, Keeler and Small's ratio method would retroactively apply the 1968-72suburban ratio to an area that was rural when the road was built! This danger can be averted bynot classifying the earlier road as a suburban freeway, but rather as a rural freeway.Changing construction costs may also affect the land/construction cost ratio. Improvedtechnologies may have made construction in recent years relatively cheaper than in earlier years. Ifa standard ratio were applied over a time period in which significant technological change occurred,the results would be inaccurate.The ratio method, like all other methods, cannot be used unless sufficient data is available.Unfortunately, data may not always be readily available. The ratio method depends heavily on both20construction and land cost data being available on a highly disaggregated basis. Historicalconstruction cost data must be available by time period, type of road, and location. Theinformation needs for the determination of the land cost/construction cost ratio are even morestringent. Within a defined time period (such as the 1968-72 period used by Keeler and Small), aroad of each type that will be analyzed must have been built within each defined geographical area.Keeler and Small's study, for example, would not have been possible if there were a county inwhich a freeway had not been built within the four year study period.The method proposed by Keeler and Small is certainly innovative. If great care is taken toensure that the assumptions being made are not highly unrealistic, then this method may present areasonable evaluation of road costs. The method, however, requires extensive research, and assuch may not be widely adopted. In the case of the Greater Vancouver region, this method cannotbe used because historical costs are extremely difficult to obtain and because construction activitywithin the last few years has been too limited to allow for collection of sufficient data samples.4.3 DISCOUNT METHODWhen it comes to finding a relatively simple method of determining land costs, researchershave often relied on quite different methods than those previously discussed. One quite commonmethod appears to be to gather data on values for land adjacent to roads (through tax assessmentrolls) and to then discount these values by a certain percentage to take into account the increase inland value that supposedly comes from being next to a major road. This approach has the benefitof being both quick and easy. It has been used by both Litman (1992) and Peat Marwick (1993).One drawback of this approach is that the selection of the discount rate often seems highlyarbitrary. Researchers do not always give reasons for choosing the rates they use. Whenexplanations are given, these sometimes consist only of references to other studies which usedsimilar rates. Adoption of rates used in other localities denies the possibility that the location understudy may differ dramatically from previously studied areas. To be fair, some researchers do adjust21their numbers to reflect differences. But, such revisions require a thorough knowledge of both thelocality to which the rate will be applied and the locality from which the numbers were originallytaken. Adjustments also require a thorough knowledge of market influences and economics ingeneral. Those who lack such knowledge would likely be making highly arbitrary adjustments.The application of a discount rate implies that land will always increase in value once newaccess has been provided. This is doubtless not the case. Indeed, Mohring and Harwitz (1962)have demonstrated that land values may actually decrease. This is not a problem which need beinherent to this procedure. If, in a particular locality, it is expected that the value of land near thehighway is actually less than that of unaffected land, then the rate could presumably be adjusted toreflect this. However, this, once again, requires an in-depth knowledge of the likely effects ofhighways in particular locations.The discount rate method is attractive because it is relatively easy to apply. By using thisapproach (as was done in the Peat Marwick study), the value of roadway land can be determinedquite quickly. It is important to recognize, however, that this approach is very arbitrary andinvolves many assumptions. If there is to be any assurance of accuracy, then the rate-setter musthave considerable expertise in the area of highway economics.4.4 OPPORTUNITY COST METHODAnother method of estimating roadway land costs is to determine what it would cost tobuy the land today. Such an approach takes into consideration the opportunity cost of using landfor roads. Winch explains that the "opportunity cost of using land and buildings for a highway isthe sacrifice of alternative uses" (Winch 1963, 16). Even roads that have been "acquired well inadvance of requirements" have an opportunity cost (Ibid., 61). All land, both that purchased forthe explicit and immediate purpose of building roads, as well as land held for potential future use,should be valued at "what the land would be worth if sold now for other purposes and no highwaywere built" (Ibid.). The relevant value is "that of the land if no highway is to be built, since that is22the value in other uses. If we take the value of adjacent land, which value takes account ofexpected development, we are really assuming that the opportunity cost of the land used is itsvalue with the highway adjacent" (Ibid.). Winch therefore concludes that it would be preferable toavoid using adjacent land as an indicator of the value of roadway land, since this wouldoverestimate the value of the land (Ibid.). Here he makes the assumption that roads alwaysincrease the value of adjacent land. Although some researchers agree that roads generally increasethe value of adjacent land (for example, Winfrey), other researchers point out that this is certainlynot always the case (Mohring and Harwitz). 2Under the opportunity cost method, the monetary value of any individual piece of land "isthe most that some other user would be prepared to pay . . . that is, (the) current market value"(Winch 1963, 16). The total cost of the right-of-way is considered to be "the sum of thecapitalized current market values of all the interests held in the land and buildings acquired," whichcan be "amortized over the anticipated life of the highway" (Ibid.). Winch explains that currentmarket values can be determined by examining "past land sales in the area, adjusted for any rise invalue over time caused by anything other than potential highway development" (Ibid., 61).Use of the opportunity cost method might be accepted wholeheartedly in a perfect world inwhich no assumptions would have to be made. However, the world is far from neat and tidy and,as such, obtaining the data needed is often a difficult task. Sometimes the difficulties result inassumptions having to be made. Winch's approach requires several assumptions.Winch assumes that it will be possible to find examples of similar land to which he cancompare the roadway land. Plots of land are often quite unique and it may be rather difficult tofind a strictly comparable plot of land. Plots "can differ with respect to both the quality and2Regardless of the effects of roads on land, it is probably a good idea to avoid applying the value of adjacent landto the roads themselves. There does not appear to be any harm in taking a conservative approach in this regardand saying that, because roads may have some effect on land values, it is better to use land values which may notbe thus contaminated.23location of the land itself and the amount, age, and productivity of the capital installed on it"(Burrows 1991, 61). This can create inconsistencies and can even provide an inducement to overinvest. Burrows explains that there is the danger that:lacking information on some of the major determinants of plot value, such as thenet profitability of the goods produced by the capital installed, the valuer will view aplot as comparable because similar amounts of capital are installed on it. Thiswould involve (an) . . . inducement to overinvestment . . . With diverse plots in theproject locality, a plot owner may see such excessive investment either as a meansof reducing the probability of his/her particular plot being acquired, or as a means ofraising his/her compensation receipt in the event of a taking (Ibid.).In addition to "comparable" land values potentially being affected by over investment, thereis also the possibility that such values may be influenced by expectations of future development.In some cases, it may be quite a challenge to find a plot of land whose value is not affected byplans for future roads, or even rumours of such plans. Complications arise when "the veryexistence (or even the prospect of the existence) of government project plans influences the marketvalue of land plots in particular localities" (Burrows, 1991, 60).Winch assumes that researchers will be able to update historical land opportunity costs byadjusting "for any rise in value over time" (Winch 1963, 61). In reality, this approach is likely tocause problems since no suitable land acquisition cost index is available (Keeler and Small 1977,9). Translating the costs of previous years into current values may therefore prove quitechallenging. The only way to avoid this problem would be to calculate opportunity costs for theyear that one is interested in. Thus, if a value for 1992 was desired, the actual values of the landin 1992 would have to be taken into consideration. One drawback of this approach is that the datacollected in 1992 could not easily be converted to 2002 values if, ten years later, an update wererequired.Yet another disadvantage of the opportunity cost method is that it does not necessarilytake into account all the things that give value to land. For example, the market prices which are24used as indications of land values may not reflect personal attachment to the land, or variousenvironmental benefits such as the oxygen enriching capacity of the trees on a land parcel(Burrows 1991, 60►. It is worthwhile to note, however, that this factor is also not taken intoconsideration in any of the other evaluation methods discussed.Winch's approach can be considered logical and correct in a theoretical sense.Unfortunately, it suffers from several drawbacks when attempts are made to use it for determiningactual roadway land costs. The opportunity cost approach is, however, one of the few approachesthat can be readily used under conditions of restricted data access.4.5 CALCULATION OF LAND VALUESThe brief overview of some of the most commonly adopted methods of estimating landcosts has revealed that there is no method which does not have clear disadvantages. The selectionof a particular method will be dictated by the need for theoretical validity and by data availability.Even under the most favourable circumstances, the final numbers will be estimates rather thandefinitive bottom-line figures.Given the need for a theoretically valid approach, the choices are immediately reduced toeither the ratio method or the opportunity cost method. In choosing a method to assess land, theissue of data availability is also of utmost consequence. Limited access to data immediatelyprecludes the ratio method. The only method that can be used for the Greater Vancouver regionwould appear to be some variation of the opportunity cost method. All the other methods requiredisaggregated data that are not readily available to researchers working without access to theBritish Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Highways' files.The opportunity cost method uses current market values to estimate the value of roads.Current market values are available from the tax assessment rolls of the British ColumbiaAssessment Authority (BCAA►. The most recent data available are the 1993 assessed values. The251993 assessed values are the BCAA's estimate of the "most probable selling price of the propertyhad it been for sale on July 1, 1992." Values are determined based on the physical condition andpermitted use on October 31, 1992. The likely sales prices are determined by assessors who takeinto consideration such factors as: location, zoning, size, topography, shape, condition, sales ofcomparable properties in the area, and other factors that might affect the property's value (B.C.Assessment Authority 1992, 3 ).Roads are not subject to taxes. There is therefore no need for the Assessment Authority toplace a value on roadway land. This means that the assessment rolls do not contain informationon the value of roads. Since roadway land values cannot be obtained from the assessment rolls,some other method of determining land values must be created.It is generally agreed that the value of roadway land should be the value that would be ineffect if the road did not exist. It is, however, very difficult to establish the value of land as itwould be without the presence of roads. All properties are required, by law, to have road access(Land Titles Act, Section 75(1)(a)). This means that roadway land can not be readily compared toland with no access and then simply given the value of such property. Fortunately, such acomparison is not actually necessary. If all properties have some degree of access, then minimalaccess will not affect any given property in ways that all other properties are not also affected. Ina sense, minimal access can be said to be incorporated in the basic value of property. It is accesswhich goes beyond a minimal level that will change the value of the affected land. But, increasedaccess will only add to the value of land if there are buyers who are willing to pay for increasedaccess. If increased access serves potential owners no useful purpose, then it is unlikely that suchindividuals would be willing to pay a premium for it. It is unlikely, for example, that a residentialproperty abutting on a major highway would be worth considerably more than a residentialproperty located at a less 'accessible' location. Indeed, if the highway is of the "limited access"type, it may not even offer increased access. Rather than conferring benefits, the highway mayactually be perceived as a nuisance--especially if it increases noise and air pollution. In such cases,26a highway may actually decrease adjacent property values. Land values would seem to increaseonly when owners can take advantage of improved access or exposure, either in the present, or inthe future (by selling land at a high price to people who can benefit from the access or exposure).Thus it would seem to be a land-use change, rather than the road itself, which adds value.Of course, land further away from the highway can also benefit from increased accessoffered by the new road. A 1960's study quoted by Rice found that transport accessibilityaccounted for from 10 percent to 16 percent of total property value (Rice 1993, 4). Even ifaccess were improved once a new highway were built, the incremental benefit would often be lessthan the 10 to 16 percent cited by Rice since some basic road access would exist even without thenew road. Since most arterials and major highways exist primarily to improve mobility rather thanto provide access (Ministry of Transportation and Highways June 1992, D2), there appears to belittle reason to believe that a new provincially-funded road would add considerable value by way ofimproved access.To accurately assess the value of roadway land, it is important not to make anyassumptions about the relationship between adjacent land values and actual 'opportunity' costs.The opportunity cost of the roadway land can be established by taking into consideration the likelyuse of land had a major road not been constructed. This can be determined by examining whatland further away from the road is typically used for and what that land is worth.Land parcels not directly affected by major roads can be found by examining legal mapsavailable at Assessment Authority offices. For this thesis, an attempt was made to select parcelslocated in areas bordering on each of the provincially-funded roads, but still far enough away thatthe use of the parcels would not likely have changed due to the presence of the road. Samples ofthis sort were selected at roughly one kilometer intervals along each provincially-funded road.These samples were collected in such a way as to be fairly representative of the land uses in eacharea. The samples were selected from alternate sides of the road to take into account possible27differences in value that might result from varying exposures. Wherever possible, samples thatmight be influenced by unique characteristics were avoided. Examples of such characteristicsincluded: waterfront exposures, locations close to hydro right-of-ways or railways, and presenceof stream beds. All these factors could result in values being unrepresentative. There are,however, many influences on land values. Every lot is unique and, as such, it is very difficult tofind a perfectly 'typical' lot. To help ensure that values were not too unusual, land values thatwere included were checked to see that their values did not deviate too much from those ofneighbouring lots. It should be noted that in some cases it was extremely difficult to find samplesthat were in roughly the same neighbourhood as the roadway, but still far away from all majorroads. Some parts of the Greater Vancouver region are quite built-up. This means that it isdifficult to find land parcels unaffected by major roads. For example, in some parts of Burnaby, theLougheed Highway and Canada Way run in close proximity. Vast areas are thus influenced bythose two roads. However, in many cases, the high land values found in such areas mayaccurately depict the opportunity cost of the road. Given the existing high level of access, theprevailing uses would likely have been in existence even without some of the roads. As such, theland used for a new road may well have an opportunity cost that is accurately reflected in existinghighly accessible lots.After the values (dollars per hectare) of typical, non-adjacent land were found, these valueswere then applied to the road areas. A six kilometer stretch of road would have roughly sixobservations attached to it. An average dollar per hectare figure was calculated from these sixobservations and then the average value was applied to the total road area to estimate the roadwayland value. Since the samples were taken at roughly equal intervals along the stretch of road, theaverage value of the observations will reasonably depict the average land value for that particularstretch of road. There is no need to apply a discount rate to the values since the samples usedwere not directly adjacent to the roads, and were thus not unduly influenced by the road.28In calculating roadway land value, the applicable land values were attached to the full right-of-way rather than to only the paved surface. Provincially-funded roads are generally built tofacilitate high-speed vehicle movement, rather than pedestrian access. Indeed in many cases,sidewalks are not built along major roads such as the Trans Canada Highway. In the case of majorarterials and highways, it seems fair to assume that the right-of-way is provided exclusively forvehicle use. The shoulders and ditches that are part of a right-of-way are an integral component ofthe road. They exist for safety reasons, to provide for possible future widening, and to provide forsnow removal and drainage. None of these factors directly serve the needs or interests of non-vehicle owners.Using the opportunity cost method, the total value of roadway land in the GreaterVancouver region was found to be $3,660,923,687. Table 1 shows the results of the calculationsby municipality. Appendix 1 contains a more detailed inventory of the values found to prevail alongeach roadway within each of the municipalities.TABLE 1:ESTIMATED ROADWAY LAND VALUES, BY MUNICIPALITYROAD NAME LENGTH AVERAGE(1) ROAD AREA TOTAL(km) WIDTH (m) (m2) VALUEBurnaby 70.25 41 2,913,129 $721,744,415Coquitlam 33.54 48 1,607,504 $270,872,498Delta 80.37 49 3,933,819 $364,019,579City of Langley 18.57 26 480,598 $32,763,016District of Langley 72.36 51 3,711,336 $96,974,251New Westminster 21.95 41 900,045 $201,557,495North Vancouver (City) 4.81 46 219,916 $99,384,382North Vancouver (District) 31.11 37 1,155,090 $347,712,413Port Coquitlam 11.23 36 407,650 $60,117,196Port Moody 19.07 45 851,450 $165,151,904Richmond 55.09 40 2,224,220 $233,813,777Surrey 148.27 43 6,322,533 $417,043,318Vancouver 6.90 30 210,315 $113,149,232West Vancouver 43.13 47 2,020,430 $509,662,141White Rock 5.02 20 100,902 $26,958,068GRAND TOTAL $3,660,923,687Notes:(1) The widths given are estimates of the right-of-ways. The right-of-ways are considered to include thepaved surface, the sidewalks (where these exist), the shoulders and any other land purchased forroad construction. The actual widths often vary considerably along each roadway. The widths givenin this table are estimates of the 'typical' width of each road. The estimates were based on datagathered from legal maps at the B.C. Assessment Authority offices.Source: Ministry of Transportation and Highways (road names and lengths), B.C.Assessment Authority (approximate land values)The length of time over which costs should be 'recovered' must be determined beforeroadway land values can be annualized. This time period is, in financial terms, typically called theamortization period. Although it is generally agreed that the "lifetime" of roadway land is infinity, itis considered good practice to expect repayment of costs in a shorter period (Meyer, Kain, andWohl 1969, 178; Keeler and Small 1977, 9). Winch has pointed out that it is undesirable to placea debt burden on the people of the distant future who might not be able to meet the burden andmight not even reap any benefits from the investment (Winch 1963, 100). Winch concludes thatalthough "in practice highway routes are rarely abandoned . . . changing demand patterns can2930considerably affect useful life. The period should therefore be limited to the foreseeable future inwhich there is no reason to fear that they will become obsolete. It is prudent to err on the side ofunderestimating this . . ." (Ibid.). Winfrey's arguments are similar to Winch's, but Winfrey goesfurther by actually suggesting that "20 years or so is a maximum future period for reliable forecastsof traffic volume, composition, and performance" (Winfrey 1969, 25). The British ColumbiaMinistry of Transportation and Highways states that although the life of the right-of-way isgenerally considered to be hundreds of years, the strategic planning for highways is based ontwenty-year projections (Ministry of Transportation and Highways June 1992, 8). Since demandcannot be reasonably predicted beyond such a 20-year time period, it would seem wise to limitcost recovery expectations to this time-frame. If the land values given in Table 1 are amortizedover 20 years, then the annual land value would be $183,046,184.It should be emphasized that the figures given in this section are for the value of land asestimated by the opportunity cost method. Since data on the cost of initially acquiring the land isnot available, the opportunity cost method was used to derive an estimate of the value of the landas it would be if it were purchased today. The costs of the land have already been accounted forin the budgets of the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. 3 The object of this thesis is not toclaim that these costs are not now considered but rather to determine the extent of roadway landcosts.3 The Ministry of Transportation and Highways' budgets are, however, not sufficiently detailed to allow for useof those budgets in determining land values of particular roads. Therefore, other means, namely the opportunitycost method had to be used to estimate the land values.315.0 PECUNIARY COSTS SOMETIMES ASSOCIATED WITH ROADWAY LANDIn addition to the value of roadway land, there are tangential societal costs which aresometimes attributed to roadways. These costs include foregone municipal tax revenue andforegone investment interest. These costs are often fully attributed to roads although there arearguments that society does not always bear such costs and that they should therefore not beconsidered 'real' costs. This dispute will be discussed in the following paragraphs.5.1^FOREGONE MUNICIPAL TAX REVENUEPublicly-owned roads are exempt from property taxes. Roads have a somewhat specialstatus then, since most land is taxable.4 When taxable land is expropriated to be used for non-taxable roads, the tax base of local government appears eroded. Property tax losses are notinsignificant since property taxes provide approximately 40 percent of local government revenue inCanada. It is the major source of revenue controlled by local government (British ColumbiaAssessment Authority, 1992). Since roads cover a large area of the total urban landscape, losttaxes can become quite significant. Lost taxes have the potential of being a "societal" cost if theloss of such taxes can only be made up for by increasing taxes on other individuals who do notbenefit from the new road. Whether there is any justification in considering tax losses a road costis a matter of considerable debate.The Cases for and against Considering Lost Tax RevenuesThe arguments for including lost tax revenues as a roadway cost centre primarily on thecontention that failure to do so would result in inequities or economic inefficiencies.Not taking lost revenues into consideration can result in inequitable and inefficient allocationof resources between the public and the private sector. It can also result in inefficient allocationbetween various public projects. Winch, for example, points out that:4Publicly owned land such as parks as well as some privately owned land such as church property is usuallyexempt from property taxation.property taxation must be included as part of the cost of a highway in our planninganalysis . .. because we are trying to determine how much of available resourcesshould be devoted to highways. Highways and other uses are essentiallycompeting for resources, which should go to that use where the utility yielded isgreatest . . . If highways are to compete for these resources on equal footing,determining net yield by our cost and demand analysis, it is important thathighways be subjected to the same overhead costs in the form of taxation thatapply to other resource uses (Winch 1963 19).There is considerable theoretical support for considering foregone tax revenues as a roadcost. It is thus not surprising that such costs have sometimes been considered when cost studieshave been prepared. There are several precedents for including foregone taxes as a communitycost of roads (Winch 1963, 19; Shortreed and Berry 1968, 33-43; Meyer 1971, 33; Wachs 1981,248; Hanson 1992, 66).Winfrey, however, urges caution in calculating foregone taxes. He states that usingformerly tax-generating lands for non-taxable roads does not necessarily result in a tax loss to thecommunity. He believes that although such a loss may occur, it should not be assumed that it willOccur.Winfrey acknowledges that, on the surface, it would appear that the removal of land fromthe tax rolls would involve a loss of revenue. He states, however, that such a loss can becompensated for by gains which are also directly related to the roadway land taking. For example,adjacent land may increase in value if a new road is built. Such increases may be sufficient tooffset any losses in tax revenue that occurred by removing roads from the tax rolls. In fact, insome cases, increased land values may even exceed the losses that were a result of land-takings.Winfrey points out that it would be wrong to ignore such increases while acknowledging lossessimilarly imposed (Winfrey 1969, 488).Tax revenues lost from one location may also be compensated by increased tax revenues32from other, more distant, locations within the same municipality (Winfrey 1969, 488). The total33values on the assessment rolls can, for example, be maintained at an equivalent or increased valueif the owners whose land was expropriated reinvest their compensation money within the municipalboundaries. In such a case, the total assessed value of land within the municipality may notdecrease. In a rapidly growing region such as Greater Vancouver it is, however, likely that suchreinvestment would occur at the expense of other investment in the same land. If only a fewparcels of vacant land remained, it is likely that they would have been occupied quite rapidly underany circumstances. If the displaced user did not buy the parcels--some other individual likelywould. In such cases, the roadway land taking may result in a tax loss to the municipal financedepartment and an equal gain to those community members who would otherwise have paid thetaxes.Winfrey goes to the extent of saying that roadway tax revenue losses should not beconsidered even in cases where loss of tax revenue is not compensated by increases in otherlocalities. Winfrey's argument centres on the fact that it is not the total value of assessed property(which is what would be affected by removing land from the tax rolls) which determines the totalvalue of taxes collected. Rather, it is the tax rate which establishes this (Winfrey 1969, 485). Thetax rate is only set once a municipality has both prepared a budget and examined the total value ofassessed property. Once both have been established, there is only one element of flexibility left--the tax rate. Winfrey explains that since "the tax rate is not determined until the budget is adoptedand compared to the assessed value, or tax base", "the taking of privately owned real estate forpublic highway purposes by this action alone does not alter the real estate tax income of the taxingauthority" (Ibid.). This is because, even with decreases in assessed values, incomes can bemaintained by increasing the tax rate. Winfrey does admit that maintaining revenues in this mannerresults in a redistribution of tax burdens. If land takings result in a decreased tax base, then "thespecific taxpayers giving up their property to the highway pay a significantly less amount (or noneat all) and each of the large number of other owners of taxable property pays a slightly increasedtax" (Ibid.).34Winfrey concedes that such reallocation of tax burdens is not without consequences. Inthis regard, he seems to be acknowledging some of the concerns expressed by Meyer, Wachs, andWinch. Winfrey points out, for example, that "who pays how much tax is a factor" whenconsidering questions of fairness (Winfrey 1969, 486). He believes, however, that for the purposeof analyzing "the total effects of a governmental action, the real measure of consequences is itseffect on total income or total expense" (Ibid.). He believes that it is "the net total tax income thatis the net measure of the tax consequences and not what happens to one set or separate sets ofcitizens" (Ibid., 485).Calculation of Foregone Property Taxes The problem of determining when property taxes have been foregone has not beencompletely resolved. The crux of the problem lies in determining the net effects of land takings. Insome cases tax losses will be compensated by tax gains that occur from reinvestment or land valueincreases. In other cases, this will not happen. There is no guarantee that compensation fromroadway takings will be reinvested within the same municipality, especially in the Lower Mainland,where many municipalities are quite small and may thus offer only limited opportunities forreinvestment. If reinvestment does occur, it may well occur at the expense of investment thatwould have occurred under any circumstance. Other taxpayers may indeed pay higher taxes andthus make up for any loss associated with a highway, but this is still very much a societal cost.The municipality may not lose money if it is able to increase tax rates, but individual citizens willlose money and such a loss is therefore a cost that can be associated with the roadway landtaking. Since there is no guarantee that the tax lost from roadway land takings will be made up forin other ways, it makes sense to at least calculate possible losses to determine how much taxrevenue would need to be recouped.Property tax rates are independently set by each municipality. Within each municipality, therates vary depending on the use of the property. Residential uses are charged considerably lessthan business and industrial uses. Farmland is generally taxed at a slightly higher rate than35residential land.5 The following are rough averages of the rates applying to Greater Vancouver:residential--0.0098; business--0.0255; light industrial--0.0309; and farmland--0.0149. Appendix 2contains a detailed listing of tax rates, by municipality and by land use type.Accurately estimating lost taxes would require knowledge of the use to which all roadwayland would have been put if the road were not built. This is difficult to determine. Even if thiswere known for individual parcels of land, it would become difficult to determine this for an entireroad network. But, if some basic and not too unrealistic assumptions are made, these problemscan be circumvented.The object in determining the opportunity cost of roads is to establish what land use wouldhave prevailed had major roads not been constructed. One assumption that can be made is thatroadway land would not generally be used for business or industrial purposes. Since industry andbusiness seem to prefer highly accessible and visible locations, it is unlikely that they would choselocations far from major roads. The presence of major roads attracts such uses; their absencerepels them. In determining the most likely alternative use of roadway land, it therefore makessense not to consider business or industrial uses. Since such uses are less common than othertypes of uses, statistics would also suggest that there is less probability of an alternative use beingbusiness or industrial than of being something else. Residential and farm uses would seem to befar more probable alternative uses of roadway land. As it happens, these two uses are taxed atsomewhat similar rates. By applying the residential tax rates of each municipality to the estimatedassessed roadway land value within that municipality, a rough conservative estimate of maximumforegone taxes can be derived.Table 2 provides an estimate of maximum possible societal losses given the assumptionsabout roadway land value and prevailing mill rates. The actual tax loss experienced will of course5Farmland is generally assessed at quite a low value—so the amount of taxes paid per hectare of farmland isactually considerably less than that paid for residential land.36depend on a road's effect on the total value of taxable property. Land value increases andreinvestment may partially offset potential tax losses. By calculating the amount of taxes that mayconceivably be foregone, some idea is at least gained of how much reinvestment and land valueincreases will be required for the lost taxes to be recouped. Of course, some of the "lost" taxesmay also be compensated for by revenues obtained by gas taxes or other road-user fees. In theend, the societal costs of extracting land from the tax base may be far below what is indicated inTable 2.37TABLE 2:FOREGONE MUNICIPAL TAX REVENUE1992 RESIDENTIALTAX RATE(per $1000 assessed value)1992 LAND VALUE FOREGONE TAXES(per annum)Burnaby 8.8 $721,744,415 $6,351,351Coquitlam 9.9 $270,872,498 $2,681,638Delta (1) 11.9 $364,019,579 $4,331,833City of Langley 12.4 $32,763,016 $406,687District of Langley 11.6 $96,974,251 $1,124,901New Westminster 11.3 $201,557,495 $2,277,600North Vancouver (City) 9.0 $99,384,382 $894,459North Vancouver (District) 9.9 $347,712,413 $3,442,353Port Coquitlam 11.2 $60,117,196 $673,313Port Moody 10.5 $165,151,904 $1,734,095Richmond 8.8 $233,813,777 $2,057,561Surrey 10.2 $417,043,318 $4,253,842Vancouver 7.6 $113,149,232 $859,934West Vancouver 8.6 $509,662,141 $4,383,094White Rock 6.0 $26,958,068 $161,486TOTAL $35,634,147Note: (1) Delta rate is the average of Ladner (12.1), North Delta (11.5), and South Delta (12.0)Source: Tax Departments of respective municipalities385.2 FOREGONE INVESTMENT INTERESTWhen money is borrowed, there is often a charge involved. This charge is commonlyknown as 'interest'. If, for example, a provincial ministry borrows money to build a highway, thecost of the highway will include both the actual money borrowed and the interest that is chargedon the loan. The interest payments can be classified as financing costs. Such costs are oftenoverlooked when highway costs are examined.Often, interest costs are only considered when these are part of the current expenditures ofa particular department. This can result in an underestimation of total costs if the interest costsare not carried along with money transfers. An example may be helpful in illustrating this. When ahighway department is given funding for a particular project, this money is then viewed as payingfor the costs of the road. No further charges are applied. This may, however, be an inaccurateportrayal of real costs if the larger government body had to borrow money in order to provide adepartment with the funding for a new highway. Somewhere in the allocation of funds, the realcost of the money has been overlooked. To determine the full cost of roads, it is important thatthese costs be tracked down.Furthermore, some researchers suggest that even if money is not borrowed to fund aparticular road, there is still a cost involved. The money that is spent on the roads could haveearned interest had it been otherwise invested. The foregone interest may in some cases beconsidered a cost that should be applied against roads. Douglass Lee emphasizes this point whenhe states that: "normally, any long-lived business investment is expected to earn a rate of return atleast equal to the interest rate on borrowed funds" (Douglass Lee 1989, 6). When financing costsare ignored, roadway costs can be considerably understated. It is important, however, toacknowledge that investment returns may be of a non-conventional type. For example, it could beargued that society gains a "return on investment" in the form of travel time savings or other39societal benefits. To insist that using land for roads always implies a societal investment loss istherefore incorrect.In order to gain some perspective on the extent of benefits that are necessary tocompensate for potential losses in interest revenue, it is necessary to determine the likely maximumforegone investment returns. To determine this, a value must be placed on forgone future streamsof cash flows. The value applied is commonly called the discount rate (Stubbs et al. 1984, 121).Although there is general agreement that a discount rate should be applied, there is little agreementor definitive evidence to suggest the adoption of any particular rate. Lack of agreement does not,however, excuse analysts from considering this matter for, as Wohl has pointed out: "prescribingan 'appropriate' discount or interest rate, while difficult, is of crucial importance to matters ofeconomic efficiency, investment planning, and decision-making" (Wohl 1972, 30). Unfortunately,"as long as the methodological controversy continues the choice of any rate may be criticized assomewhat arbitrary and 'dangerous— (Stubbs et al. 1984, 121). The choice between rates isperhaps most arbitrary if analysts applying the rates do not understand the consequences of theirparticular choices. Since it appears that a rate must, in the end, be selected, it is important to atleast understand the potential consequences of different choices.The choice of a discount rate can affect choices between projects with very differentexpenditure time lines. For example, a high discount rate penalizes long-term projects that havevery high initial expenditures. Very low rates can over encourage such projects (Stubbs et al.1984, 121). Discount rates can also affect allocations of funds between generations. A highdiscount rate can mean that current benefits are valued more highly than ones that would affectfuture generations. A low discount rate will, on the other hand, encourage investments that mightbenefit the future while imposing a high initial cost on the current generation (Davis 1990, 124).Discount rates also impact allocations of funds between the public sector and the private sector. Ifthe rate applied to public sector investments differs substantially from that applied to the privatesector, then allocations between the two may not be made in the most economically efficient40manner (Davis 1990, 123). Future uncertainties and risks can also be valued differently dependingon the choice of discount rate. For example, a high rate discounts future uncertainties more thandoes a low rate (Winfrey 1969, 27).Hirschleifer has suggested that some consideration be given to the fact that the publicsector tends to be overly optimistic in its perception of returns and risks. To counteract this overoptimism, Hirschleifer recommends that the discount rate be at least equal to the prevailing marketrate (Hirschleifer in Wohl 1972, p. 35). He pointed out, for example, that "even for utilityinvestments in the private sphere, we have seen that the capital market will supply funds only forprojects promising (with the average degree of riskiness experienced in that sector) to yield around9 or 10 percent. Unfortunately, public investment decision processes have on the whole a farworse record of over optimism, so that the lowest discount rate for public projects we wouldrecommend in practice, unless and until their record improves, is around 10 percent" (Ibid.). Meyeralso supports the idea that conservative discounting procedures may be a good antidote to publicsector over optimism (Meyer 1971, 214).Considering the impact of discount rates, it is not surprising that the debate over theselection of the rate continues. The fact is that one can not avoid choosing a rate. Even if oneassigns a rate of zero, this will have an effect on the choices to be made. The question that shouldbe answered is: what is the preferred rate (Daiute 1970, 651?Calculation of Foregone Investment InterestGiven the on-going controversy and lack of unanimous recommendations for any specificdiscount rate, the best response may be to analyze project sensitivities to several rates. Daiute(1970) has been one supporter of this approach. Keeler and Small actually adopted this method intheir 1977 study of land value costs. In their study, they used two alternative rates: 6 percentand 12 percent (Keeler and Small 1977, 9). If the variation in rates results in significantly differentconclusions, then this may suggest that the precision of the analysis is limited (Daiute 1970, 64).41For this thesis, two rates were chosen: 6 percent and 10 percent. The 6 percent figurerepresents the March 1993 rate of return on a 12-month Treasury Bill. That figure represents aprevailing market rate. A somewhat higher figure of 10 percent was also selected for considerationin response to the contention among some experts that conservative discounting procedures shouldbe applied to public works projects so that public-sector over-optimism can be counter-acted.Table 3 shows the financing costs that could be attributed to roadway land if the rates of 6 percentand 10 percent were used.TABLE 3:FOREGONE INTERESTMUNICIPALITY LAND FOREGONE INTERESTVALUE at 6%^at 10%Burnaby $721,744,415 $43,304,665 $72,174,442Coquitlam $270,872,498 $16,252,350 $27,087,250Delta $364,019,579 $21,841,175 $36,401,958City of Langley $32,763,016 $1,965,781 $3,276,302District of Langley $96,974,251 $5,818,455 $9,697,425New Westminster $201,557,495 $12,093,450 $20,155,750North Vancouver (City) $99,384,382 $5,963,063 $9,938,438North Vancouver (District) $347,712,413 $20,862,745 $34,771,241Port Coquitlam $60,117,196 $3,607,032 $6,011,720Port Moody $165,151,904 $9,909,114 $16,515,190Richmond $233,813,777 $14,028,827 $23,381,378Surrey $417,043,318 $25,022,599 $41,704,332Vancouver $113,149,232 $6,788,954 $11,314,923West Vancouver $509,662,141 $30,579,728 $50,966,214White Rock $26,958,068 $1,617,484 $2,695,807TOTAL $219,655,421 $366,092,369Source: BC Assessment Authority (land values)Lest the impact of interest rates be taken too seriously, it is important to remember thatconsiderations other than the interest rate may well be more influential in governments investmentdecisions. For example, it is often suggested that factors such as the magnitude of time delaycosts (Daiute 1970, 76) or the selection of benefits and costs included for analysis (Meyer 1971,214-215) can exert a greater influence on project feasibility than the discount rate. Meyer has, for42example, pointed out that "for many sorts of public projects, project justification will hinge on theinclusion of external and social effects not readily quantifiable and, more importantly, typicallysubject to political pressures and oftentimes considerable exaggeration" (Ibid.).It is worth reiterating that the figures given in Table 3 do not necessarily reflect societallosses occurring from investment in roads. The returns on roadway investment may manifestthemselves in indirect ways. The numbers given are merely indicators of the extent of benefitsthat would be necessary to compensate for potential losses.436.0 LAND COST ALLOCATIONOnce roadway costs have been determined, methods of allocating these costs can beexamined. There is unfortunately no easy way to allocate costs. In fact, a review of the literaturereveals that no method exists that does not suffer from some degree of arbitrariness. Manymethods of cost allocation suffer from either theoretical or practical limitations. These limitationshave contributed to on-going debate on this issue.6.1 ALLOCATION BETWEEN ROAD USERS AND OTHER BENEFICIARIESThe cost responsibility of road users as a group must be determined before determininghow much of total costs automobile drivers in particular should be responsible for. Road usersinclude drivers of automobiles, buses, trucks, delivery vans, motorcycles and other vehicles. But,road users are not the only beneficiaries of roads. The general public may benefit "because of thebroad economic and social benefits derived from • . . expansion of . . . transportation facilities" andlocal property owners may benefit if their property values are increased as a result of roadimprovements (Westmeyer 1952, 382; Locklin 1972, 625). There is much debate on the issue ofcost allocation between these sectors. Westmeyer has acknowledged that there is actually nological basis for making allocations and that "the method used will have a profound effect on thefinal result" (Westmeyer 1952, 383). He goes on to state that "differences of opinion on this pointalone may lead competent and unbiased students to reach entirely different conclusions, and itprovides an opportunity for the special pleader to reach any conclusion he wishes" (Ibid.).6.2 ALLOCATIONS AMONG ROAD USERSWestmeyer's pronouncement would, by itself, sound a death knell for defensible costallocation but the indictments against allocations extend even further. For, even once costs havebeen allocated to road users as a group, further break-downs are necessary in order to determinehow much of that total can be attributed specifically to automobiles. Westmeyer has said that,"here, again, the possibility of wide variations in estimates exists" (Westmeyer 1952, 383).Locklin agreed: "numerous methods of dealing with this question have been proposed; but many, if44not all of them, are subject to criticism on theoretical or practical grounds, or both" (Locklin 1972,632). One of the difficulties of making allocations is that it is not known whether such allocation"should be made on the basis of vehicle miles traveled, ton miles carried, or some other measure offrequency of use". This "is a problem on which there are sharp differences of opinion" (Westmeyer1952, 383).6.3 APPROACHES USED IN PRACTICAL STUDIESDespite the difficulties, several individuals have attempted to allocate costs. Theirapproaches have varied somewhat but all seem to be rather arbitrary. The particular approachadopted depends on such considerations as "the objective of the costing, the data available, theknowledge of the underlying engineering relationships, and the analytic and numericalcomputational aids at hand" (Meyer 1971, 40). Locklin seemed to believe that in addition to thesefactors, politics also play an important role. He stated that "whatever may be the most desirablebasis for dividing responsibility for highway support between general taxpayers and highway users,the actual division of responsibility at a given time is the result of political forces" (Locklin 1972,628). The political effects would likely be witnessed in scenarios where data is to be used todetermine pricing schedules.In his 1992 study, Litman acknowledges that not all roadways are built to accommodateautomobiles. In fact, he claims that "a more reasonable estimate is that 60 to 75 percent ofroadway land is required for automobile use" (Litman 1992, 11). His decision to attribute only partof the land costs to automobiles results from his belief that a minimal level of access is neededregardless of the extent of automobile traffic. This minimal service level is to provide for suchthings as emergency vehicles and delivery vans. Litman believes that a lightly paved, single lane ofroadway can adequately serve such needs (Litman 1992, 7). He points out that such a roadrepresents the level of road investment which consumers typically select when they themselvesmust pay for road construction (Ibid.). He assumes that anything above this level would thereforebe built in response to the extra needs of automobiles. In his belief that automobiles can not be45held accountable for all roadway land costs, he differs slightly from Voorhees and Holtzclaw.Litman quoted both of these sources as attributing all roadway land costs to automobiles.Peat Marwick consultants concur with Litman's belief that not all roadway land costs canbe attributed to automobiles and that a minimal level of access needs to be defined. Peat Marwickwent a little further than Litman in that they actually defined the width of a minimal access road.Peat Marwick believed that a 7-meter wide road would be adequate to provide minimal service.Road widths in excess of this were considered to be catering to the demands of automobile drivers(Peat Marwick 1993, 26). Peat Marwick calculated the roadway land attributable to automobilesby subtracting the land required to provide minimal service from the amount of land that is actuallydevoted to roads (Ibid.). This approach assumes that all existing roads are required for minimalservice to be provided. In reality this may not be true. There is the possibility that some roadscould be altogether eliminated, while still maintaining minimal access. Many houses are, forexample, served by both lane ways and roads. Only one of these is necessary to provide basicproperty access. Peat Marwick's approach will over-estimate the minimal road needs to the extentthat the seven meter road requirement is applied to superfluous roads.Hanson seemed comfortable with assuming that most costs could be attributed to privateautomobiles. He said that "while the same streets are used for buses, trucks, and othercommercial vehicles, usage is overwhelmingly by automobiles and other personal vehicles" (Hanson1992, 64). The Pollution Probe Study did not allocate costs.6.4 ALLOCATING COSTS IN THE GREATER VANCOUVER REGIONA review of the literature demonstrates that, to date, no approach has been deemedcompletely appropriate. Theorists do not consider any particular approach to be perfectly suitable.It is thus not surprising that those given the task of deriving bottom-line figures are forced to relyon rather arbitrary methods. Litman and Peat Marwick are among those who have attempted tofind methods that would yield rough estimates. Litman's and Peat Marwick's approaches do not46yield precise results. But, since no other approach can be said to do so, it makes little sense toadopt other, more complicated approaches, if they are no more theoretically appropriate than theapproaches adopted by Litman and Peat Marwick.Since automobiles are not the only users of public roads, it is important not to attribute thetotal cost of roads to automobile drivers. To determine the portion of road costs that can beattributed to automobiles, it is important to examine the standard that would be required if it werenot necessary to provide for automobiles. Other road users include buses, trucks, emergencyvehicles and bicycles. Basic access for these users can be provided with a 7-meter wide road.Two-directional traffic could easily be provided for with two 3.5-meter lanes. Any width in excessof this can thus be attributed to automobiles.Some experts argue that it may not make sense to apply the 7-meter right-of-way to alllinks in a road network (Rice 1993►. It has been suggested that high-capacity, high-speed facilitiessuch as expressways are not needed to provide basic access. The implied conclusion is that suchfacilities can be completely attributed to demands from automobile drivers. Although this makestheoretical sense, non-automobile users do in fact use such facilities and it would therefore notseem fair to charge automobile drivers with the full costs of providing such facilities. The BritishColumbia Ministry of Transportation and Highways (1992► states that automobiles make up 82percent of 'typical' traffic on rural highways. Similar figures were not available for urbanhighways, but a quick afternoon survey of Kingsway revealed a similar breakdown. If costresponsibility were allocated based on traffic composition, then automobile drivers could be heldresponsible for about 82 percent of costs. Interestingly, this approach would yield a costbreakdown quite similar to that obtained by using the 7-meter minimum access approach. Anexamination of average widths of roads given in Table 1 reveals that many provincially-funded roadright of ways are about 40 meters wide. If the minimum access of seven meters is subtractedfrom this width, then 33 meters can be attributed to automobile users. Those 33 meters represent83 percent of the total width--a figure very similar to that indicated by the traffic composition47approach. Table 4 represents the costs that could be attributed to automobiles if a rate of 80percent were applied.TABLE 4:COSTS ATTRIBUTABLE TO AUTOMOBILES(Assuming 80% Cost Responsibility)MUNICIPALITY LAND VALUE FOREGONE FOREGONEATTRIBUTABLE INTEREST TAXESTO CARS (at 6%)Burnaby $577,395,532 $34,643,732 $5,081,081Coquitlam $216,697,998 $13,001,880 $2,145,310Delta $291,215,663 $17,472,940 $3,465,466City of Langley $26,210,413 $1,572,625 $325,350District of Langley $77,579,401 $4,654,764 $899,921New Westminster $161,245,996 $9,674,760 $1,822,080North Vancouver (City) $79,507,506 $4,770,450 $715,567North Vancouver (District) $278,169,930 $16,690,196 $2,753,882Port Coquitlam $48,093,757 $2,885,625 $538,650Port Moody $132,121,523 $7,927,291 $1,387,276Richmond $187,051,022 $11,223,061 $1,646,049Surrey $333,634,654 $20,018,079 $3,403,074Vancouver $90,519,386 $5,431,163 $687,947West Vancouver $407,729,713 $24,463,783 $3,506,475White Rock $21,566,454 $1,293,987 $129,189TOTAL $2,928,738,948 $175,724,337 $28,507,318Note: (1) Calculated as the sum of lost taxes and foregone interestSource: BC Assessment Authority (land values)There are many techniques that can be used for allocating costs among road users. Table4 indicates the results of the traffic composition/minimum access methods. The costs allocated toautomobiles may be somewhat lower with the use of other approaches. Litman, for example,suggested that automobiles are responsible for only 60 to 75 percent of costs (Litman 1992, 11).Figures closer to those given by Litman would be obtained if consideration is given to the size ofthe vehicle using the roads. According to such an approach, a large truck would be consideredequivalent to three or four cars. Such an approach differs substantially from the traffic48composition approach which allocates all vehicles equal cost responsibility. If consideration isgiven to the size of vehicles, then the share of costs attributable to cars would go down to about70 percent. Given that there is currently little agreement on methodologies of allocating costs, itmay perhaps be wise to indicate a range of cost responsibility. It seems reasonable to suggestthat automobile drivers are responsible for between 70 to 80 percent of roadway land costs.497.0 TOTAL ROADWAY LAND COSTThe individual components of roadway land costs have now been calculated. Thesecomponents can be added up to determine the total cost of provincially-funded roadway land in theGreater Vancouver region. The land value of provincially-funded arterials and highways totals$3,660,923,687. Of this total, $2,928,738, 948 has been attributed to automobiles. In 1992,there were 999,419 registered and insured vehicles in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Ofthis total, 97,587 were insured for business purposes (GVRD Development Services June 1992,63). If it is assumed that all registered vehicles not insured for business purposes are privately-owned automobiles, then the number of such automobiles totals 901,832. If it were assumed thatall roads were built within the past twenty years, and that costs were amortized over a 20-yearperiod, then the annual value of roadway land could be said to be $162 per vehicle.An annual maximum societal loss of $255,289,568 could result from lost taxes andforegone investment interest. Of this total, $204,231,654 can be attributed to automobiles. Ifthe total costs are apportioned among all automobiles not insured for business purposes, then eachautomobile would be accountable for annual land-related "pecuniary" costs of $226.The figures given in this thesis are estimates. Some of the approaches that have been usedhave led to rather conservative costs estimates, while others have likely led to possibleoverestimates. It is important to acknowledge the effect of the approaches so that others can viewthe given costs in their proper light.Conservative approaches were used in: establishing land values (non-adjacent land valueswere applied to roads); determining lost taxes (lowest tax rates were applied); and in determiningfinancing costs (low interest rates were applied).The twenty year amortization period and the 80 percent cost allocation may have resultedin overestimates of annual cost responsibility per automobile. The amortization period has a great50influence on annual roadway land value costs. In this thesis, it was assumed that all roads werebuilt within the amortization period of twenty years. The value of the land was thus amortizedover those years. If a longer amortization period were adopted, the annual costs would be lower.Of course, not all roads were actually built in the last twenty years. Some roads were built before1972. The costs of such roads should therefore already have been fully amortized. It is, however,difficult to determine which roads predate 1972. As such, an assumption has been made that allroads have been built within the last twenty years. To the extent that this is incorrect, land costswill be overestimated.The cost allocation method chosen for this thesis could also result in overestimation ofautomobile drivers' responsibility for roadway land costs. To the extent that such drivers areactually responsible for less than 80 percent of roadway land costs, their responsibility will havebeen overestimated.The point of this thesis has not been to determine the precise cost of roadway land. Sucha task would be virtually impossible. The values given are estimates. It should be emphasized thatsome of the foregone investment interest and property tax may have been compensated for byvarious means. As such, the societal cost of lost taxes and foregone interest are likely to be farless than the maximum figures that have been given in this thesis. The contribution of this thesishas been to explore the issues involved in determining the cost of roadway land--something thathas not previously been done in any comprehensive manner. By discussing the issues and byproviding rationales for selection of particular methods, the door has been opened for furtherdebate on transportation costing issues in the Greater Vancouver region.518.0 POLICY IMPLICATIONSGiven the high cost of roads, it is worthwhile to find ways to reduce the need for suchroads in the future. This is especially relevant given the current climate of fiscal restraint andenvironmental concern.8.1 WHY MONEY SPENT ON ROADWAY LAND IS A CRITICAL ISSUERoad expenditures are an issue because of the impact that such expenditures have on othersocietal goals.Using land for roads means that the land is not available for other uses. Among the manyalternative land uses are agriculture or housing. The building of new roads threatens thepreservation of agricultural land. As the population grows, there will be more pressure to usefarmland for urban development. Since 1974, 5.5 percent of the land in the Agricultural LandReserve has been removed for other uses (Seelig and Artibise 1991, 10). By 2006, the supply ofall vacant Greater Vancouver land zoned for single family housing will have been exhausted (JimChim, class lecture, October 1992). The construction of roads encourages sprawl and thus therapid urbanization of what little land remains. Instead of using scarce land for roads, such landcould be used to provide more housing. At the very least, road-building could be reduced so as todiscourage further sprawl and delay housing shortages. With the growing pressure on agriculturallands and the looming shortage of land for housing, does it make sense to use so much land forroads?Road building also runs counter to the public goal of protecting air quality. Environmentalconcerns of Greater Vancouver residents have been expressed in such documents as Creating OurFuture (1990) and Clouds of Change (1990). Both reports suggest that automobile traffic is asignificant threat to the quality of the environment. Increasing the road supply will result in anincrease in traffic. Land devoted to roads thus contributes directly to a deterioration of the52environment. The Clouds of Change document states that "over 80% of atmospheric pollutants inthe Greater Vancouver Regional District come from 'mobile sources— (City of Vancouver, 1990,17). Each vehicle has a considerable effect. Table 5 indicates each vehicle's contribution toatmospheric pollution. The numbers become even more dramatic when they are multiplied by999,419 to take into account the total number of vehicles in the Greater Vancouver Region.Society's addiction to automobiles is a major obstacle to reducing atmospheric pollutants.Automobiles, like people, are concentrated in cities. It is no wonder then that the Clouds ofChange report stated that "our ultimate success or failure to achieve a sustainable relationship withthe biosphere may well be determined by our cities" (Ibid., 21).TABLE 5:EACH VEHICLE'S ANNUAL EFFECT ON ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTIONHydrocarbons:^13.5^kilogramsCarbon Monoxide:^99.5^kilogramsCarbon Dioxide: 1,517^kilogramsNitrogen Oxides:^7.0^kilogramsSulphur Oxides: 0.14^kilogramsParticulate Matter:^0.12^kilogramsSource: City of Vancouver, Clouds of Change: Final Report to theCity of Vancouver Task Force on Atmospheric Change. Vancouver:City of Vancouver, 1990, p. 40.Although extensive provision for automobiles may be favourable to individuals, the impactof such provisions extend much beyond the individual. As Seelig and Artibise have pointed out,"we live in a global community where seemingly isolated actions have global consequences" (Seeligand Artibise 1991, 8). Some of these consequences may be quite negative. Do residents of theLower Mainland have a responsibility to take global consequences into consideration when planningto meet their transportation needs? Public forums on this issue would suggest that many residentsdo indeed feel such a responsibility. But how can this responsibility be translated into action?53While certain individuals embrace the philosophy of global concern, the majority continue to pumpgas into cars and demand more road space on which to drive those cars.There is currently little personal incentive for people to change their habits and therebybecome less car-dependent. Individuals benefit from car usage, and therefore continue to use theircars. Meanwhile, society as a whole often suffers serious negative consequences. This situationseems paradoxical to those who believe that the interests of society as a whole are best served ifall individuals within the society pursue their self-interest. The idea that the sum of individualinterests will equate with the best interests of society is often thought to be a core concept ofcapitalism. After all, did Adam Smith not say that an individual, although only intending to act for"his own gain", is "led by an invisible hand to promote . . . the public interest" (Smith [1776]1937, 423)? Garret Hardin has suggested that "Adam Smith did not assert that this was invariablytrue, and perhaps neither did any of his followers. But he contributed to a dominant tendency ofthought that has ever since interfered with positive action based on rational analysis" (Hardin1968, 1244).Hardin insisted that the pursuit of individual gain does not necessarily produce the bestoutcome for society as a whole. He believed that individuals will not necessarily treat commonproperty such as the air, water, or roads in a manner that is conducive to the interests of societyas a whole. In fact, he asserted that when all individuals pursue their own best interests "in asociety that believes in the freedom of the commons," society is headed toward ruin. He statedthat although the individual may benefit "from his ability to deny the truth," the "society as awhole, of which he is a part, suffers" (Hardin 1968, 1244).Hardin stated that the "tragedy of the commons" arises when principles that may apply touse and allocation of privately-owned resources are applied to public goods such as theenvironment (Hardin 1968, 1243). Hardin explained that "the air and waters surrounding uscannot be readily fenced, and so the tragedy of the commons as a cesspool must be prevented by54different means, by coercive laws or taxing devices that make it cheaper for the polluter to treat hispollutants than to discharge them untreated" (Ibid., 1245). Currently, the interests of theindividual are best served by discharging untreated sewage.Relying on the "invisible hand" may work tolerably well when resources are abundant anddemand for those resources is low. The principle of the "invisible hand" does not work nearly aswell when resources are scarce and demand high. Hardin pointed out that "using the commons asa cesspool does not harm the general public under frontier conditions, because there is no public;the same behavior in a metropolis is unbearable" (Hardin 1968, 1245). Since land is a scarcecommodity, and demand for that land is high, it may be time to re-examine the principles by whichit is allocated.Hardin's essay on The Tragedy of the Commons dealt primarily with the "freedom to breed"and the consequences this had for society as a whole. He said that "to couple the concept of thefreedom to breed with the belief that everyone born has an equal right to the commons is to lockthe world into a tragic course of action." It is not too far-fetched to apply the same statement tothe "freedom to drive." Hardin did not hesitate to recommend that some freedoms be restricted.He pointed out that society already accepts the restriction of, for example, the "freedom" to rob abank. Hardin stated that "the man who takes money from a bank acts as if the bank were acommons. How do we prevent such action? [W]e seek the social arrangements that will keep (thebank) from becoming a commons. That we thereby infringe on the freedom of would-be robberswe neither deny nor regret (Hardin 1968, 1247). Hardin suggests that "as the human populationhas increased, the commons has had to be abandoned in one aspect after another" (Ibid., 1248).Has society now come to the point where it needs to stop treating the road network as a"commons"?The effects of road-building are both immediate and long-lasting. By building a road, acertain amount of land is used up that could have been used for other purposes. This is the55immediate effect. The longer term effect is that the very act of building the road perpetuates theneed for roads. The longer term effects of road-building are not always acknowledged. Often,people see road-building as a solution to the problems of congestion. But, adding capacity doesnot necessarily alleviate congestion. New roads may temporarily take the pressure off a burdenedsystem, but the very existence of a new, relatively uncongested road will usually attract additionaltrips that would not previously have been contemplated. This adds to traffic. With time, thesystem will, once again, be operating beyond desirable capacity. The result? More roads will bedemanded. This "no-win" situation becomes firmly entrenched if gas tax revenues are reservedexclusively for new construction. If gas-taxes are ear-marked for new road construction, thesystem will perpetuate itself. More gas taxes will result in more freeways which will result in moresuburbs and more cars--which will in turn produce more gas taxes to be invested in more roads.Thus a vicious cycle is started (Dantzig 1973, 112).How society uses land is a good gauge of its priorities. This was pointed out by E.F.Schumacher who said that "among material resources, the greatest, unquestionably is the land.Study how a society uses its land, and you can come to pretty reliable conclusions as to what itsfuture will be" (E.F. Schumacher in Seelig and Artibise 1991, 39). Current land use indicates thatour society is enamoured of the car. Land taken up by roads already exceeds 25 percent of thetotal area of Vancouver; 7 percent of the Pacific Fraser Region (Seelig and Artibise 1991, 60).What does this say about the future of the Greater Vancouver region?The decisions made regarding road building have far-flung consequences and have animpact on future quality of life. Spending money on roads means that other public goals such ashousing, farmland preservation and air quality improvement may be frustrated.568.2 THE ROLE OF PUBLIC POLICYIt is public policy that guides the provision of roads. As such, policy must be consideredwhen examining the current provision of roads and the course that should be pursued in the future.Public policy is the "bridge" that links the present situation with future desired outcome.Transportation can not be changed in isolation because it is very much related to otherissues such as where we live and work. To be most effective, a good strategy will thereforerequire an effort that is sustained by coordinated policies.Public policy can be used to make it in peoples' self-interest to engage in behavior thatserves the best interests of society as a whole. Such an approach can help overcome the "tragedyof the commons" that was described by Hardin.Solving problems is a three step process. The first step is to recognize that a problemexists. Next, possible solutions must be identified and a choice made. Then, action must betaken. To complete the first two steps without following with the third, may create moreknowledge, but it will hardly solve the problem. A person who goes to a dentist complaining aboutbad teeth may be told that lack of brushing is a major contributor to the problem. If that personthen goes home only to continue previous bad habits, the problem will not be solved. This analogycan be applied to public policy: unless action is taken, little will change. Residents and politiciansof the Greater Vancouver region have identified some problems associated with currenttransportation patterns and also several possible solutions. But, to reach the goals, certain thingsmust change. Changed outcomes require changed actions.8.3 A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTIONIf society is serious about reducing the negative consequences of roadway spending, thenthere are several existing policies that should be re-examined and several new ones which ought tobe considered. Policies can be adopted at many levels. For the purposes of this analysis, the57focus will be on the provincial level since this thesis has dealt with provincially-funded roads. It isimportant, however, to recognize that for effectiveness to be maximized, policies at the provinciallevel must be matched with compatible policies at the municipal and regional levels.The Province's Current Approach to Dealing with Roadway Demand The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Highways has, until now, maintained asupply-side orientation. The Ministry of Transportation and Highways has generally focused onalleviating congestion by constructing new roads or widening existing ones. The underlyingassumption is that the demand for roads must be catered to.To some extent, efforts have been made to counter the demands for roads by emphasizingthe role of public transit. However, the construction of new roads usually seems to takeprecedence. One Ministry publication stated that "a functional transportation system in Vancouvernow requires added investment to major roads so as to balance and facilitate the upgrades that arebeing made to the transit network" (Ministry of Transportation and Highways (vol. 5) 1988, 6.25).Although new roads can indeed facilitate the provision of improved transit service, such roads canalso act to reduce the public's incentive to use transit. Once extra capacity has been created,people may no longer see a need to reduce automobile use. Although the Ministry report speaks ofincreasing transit service (Ibid., 9.5), it does not really address how to get people to use thatservice. As long as more roads are provided, it is unlikely that people will shift to public transit.Although the Ministry has generally pursued supply-side tactics, they do admit that "it willnot be possible to relieve all congestion" (Ibid., 6.26). Relief of congestion by constructing moreroads appears, however, to be a major goal despite the Ministry's admission that "the extent of theneeds for new and improved transportation infrastructure as outlined in the recommendations . . .clearly exceeds the financial resources of the Province in the short run (Ibid., vol. 1, 1.21).58Part of the reason for the Ministry's supply-side approach may be that their mandate dealsexclusively with the road network. They do not have direct influence over all transportation policy.The Ministry has indicated that the "lack of co-ordinated transportation policy encompassing roadsand transit in the region, coupled with the division of decision-making between the Ministry ofTransportation and Highways, municipalities, and BC Transit often makes it difficult to determinean appropriate balance of roads versus transit in a corridor" (Ministry of Transportation andHighways (vol. 5) 1988, 9.6).The Ministry has readily admitted that they are constrained in their current approach todealing with demand for more roads. The limitations are both financial and organizational. Givensuch constraints and further constraints imposed by the limited supply of land, it makes sense toreview alternative strategies.Alternative ApproachesOne of the keys to reducing the need for new roads is to reduce the amount of traffic thatis using existing roads. This can be done in numerous ways. Ultimately a comprehensive strategythat involves the concerted efforts of municipal, regional and provincial governments or authoritieswill work best. This section will, however, concentrate on the actions that could be taken by theprovincial government.The most successful policy would probably involve the simultaneous application of severaldifferent tactics (Downs 1992, 146). For the purposes of analysis, several different policies will beexamined before a particular combination will be recommended for consideration. The followingparagraphs include a discussion of some of the approaches most commonly used to deal withtraffic congestion. These approaches can be separated into demand-side tactics (which attempt toreduce the need for new roads by reducing the amount of traffic) and supply side tactics (whichattempt to alleviate congestion by providing more facilities or more efficient facilities). Appendix 359provides Down's (1992) ratings of various approaches. A discussion of the relative merits of allapproaches would require a thesis in itself and is certainly an area that is ripe for further study.Garret Hardin has suggested that taxes are a suitable device for making it in peoples' selfinterest to pursue the public good. He suggested that temperance be created by coercion (Hardin1968, 1247). In the interests of democracy, any coercion ought to be mutually agreed-upon.Society has traditionally agreed to accept taxation because "we recognize that voluntary taxeswould favour the conscienceless" (Ibid.). Trying to reduce demand for new roads by appealing toconscience rather than peoples' pocketbooks would favour the conscienceless. The province canuse taxes to diminish the need for new roads by making drivers less enthusiastic to take to theroad. In order to reduce roadway land consumption, society need not forbid driving--it need onlymake it increasingly difficult or expensive to do so.One way to make driving more expensive is to increase taxes. There are several types oftaxes. Table 6 places taxes into several categories.TABLE 6: MOTOR VEHICLE TAX CLASSIFICATIONACQUISITION OWNERSHIP INDIRECT USE DIRECT USESales Tax Registration Fee Fuel Tax TollsValue Added Tax Personal Property Tax Cordon Tolls Parking FeesTransfer Tax Driver's License Fees Supplementary Weight FeesArea LicenseSource: OECD, Co-ordinated Urban Transport Pricing. Paris: OECD, 1985, p. 85.It is not always easy to select a perfectly suitable tax. Quite often, tradeoffs must bemade. For example, although differential fees (such as those listed in the last two columns ofTable 6) are more difficult and costly to implement than fixed fees (such as those listed in the firsttwo columns), the differential fees have the benefit of being more equitable and efficient (OECD1985, pp. 16, 95).60The appropriateness of a given tax will depend on the aim of the tax. Essentially, thetaxing authority must ask itself what it hopes to achieve by imposing a new tax. Is the aim merelyto raise money? Is the aim to reduce usage? Is the aim to price a "public" good? The answerswill determine which tax is most appropriate. An example will illustrate this concept. Flat fueltaxes may be quite appropriate for charging for emissions, noise and accident rates. The amountof fuel tax that a driver pays will be more or less directly related to the distance driven by thatdriver. Emissions, noise, and accidents are also more or less related to distances driven. Ittherefore makes sense to use fuel taxes as a pricing mechanism for these externalities. Fuel taxesmay not, however, be appropriate to relieving congestion and thus reducing the peak period trafficdemand that results in demand for extra roads (OECD 1985, 65). Congestion costs are higher atsome times than at others. The rate at which fuel is taxed is not dependent on the time of daythat a driver uses the fuel. As such, flat fuel taxes may not be a good way to price peak-periodroad use. Fuel taxes also present problems in that they may encourage people to switch to morefuel-efficient cars to reduce the negative impact of higher gasoline taxes. Although that would helpreduce gasoline consumption, it may not necessarily discourage driving. Another considerationshould be the potential for evading the tax. This is a problem particularly in the Greater Vancouverregion where drivers can, by purchasing gas in the United States, avoid paying stiff fuel taxes. Itwould seem that fuel taxes might not be the most effective way to discourage driving.Roadway land consumption can be reduced if fewer people drive. One way to reduce thenumber of people who drive is to increase the attractiveness of public transit. This can be done bymanaging the supply and pricing of parking spaces. "Restrictions on parking space can improvethe performance and profitability of public transport both by reducing the opportunity for carcommuting and by making more road space available for public transport vehicles" (OECD 1985,36). Currently, there is only "a weak correlation between a price based on the duration of parkingand the preceding trip characteristics (length, time, locations)"(Ibid., 115). For parking to be usedas a mechanism for road pricing, existing parking fees must be restructured. The OECD hassuggested that one method of doing this would be to divide parking fees into two parts. One part61would ration scarce road space. This part would account for road congestion and would varyaccording to time of entry and departure. The collection of "road use fees" at existing parkingbooths would eliminate the need to spend money on installing new collection points on major roadsand would also have the advantage of charging for the use of all roads, and not just roads thatmight be tolled. 6 The second part of the parking fee would ration scarce parking spaces and wouldtherefore vary according to demand for parking space. Such a pricing scheme has not yet beentried anywhere (Ibid., pp. 18, 92).Tolls can also be used to price roads. The provincial government is now contemplatingusing tolls to finance repairs to the Lion's Gate Bridge. Although tolls have periodically been usedto finance construction, they have not yet, in the Greater Vancouver region, been used to priceroads. Tolls would likely discourage unnecessary trips. This would, in turn, reduce the need forfuture expansion of facilities. A few urban areas such as New York City and San Francisco alreadyhave quasi-government authorities empowered to levy tolls (OECD 1985, 102). Tolls, however,suffer from the potential to transfer congestion onto untolled roads (Downs 1992, 56). Thepotential for transference could be partially averted in the Greater Vancouver region by placing tollson bridge or tunnel crossings. For many journeys, the only way of avoiding such crossings wouldbe to forego the trip. Tolls would have a disproportionate effect on low income earners. Theeffect on low-income earners could, however, be tempered by offering transportation tax credits.It would take very high tolls to discourage higher-income drivers from using the tolled roads. Suchindividuals place a high value on their time. The toll charge for such people might easily be paid forout of the extra earnings derived during the time that would otherwise have been spent on a morecongested road. Despite the drawbacks, tolls can be very effective. One expert has estimated that"peak-hour pricing might reduce traffic on toll roads by 20% or more" (Downs 1992, 56).6 It has been suggested that road space could be charged by installing, in all vehicles, a device that wouldindicate where the vehicles origniated from (O'Connell 1973, 76). With indications of both "home base" and thedestination, such a device would allow parking fees to reflect the distance driven. This would have theadvantage of charging for any road space which may be used--not just tolled roads. Such an approach wouldhelp prevent drivers from switching to residential or other non-tolled roads when tolls are imposed on majorroads.62Some of the disadvantages of tolls can be overcome by systematic roadway pricing. Fullroadway pricing would, for example, help prevent traffic from transferring from tolled roads tountolled roads. Such pricing would charge all drivers--not just those who use tolled roads or thosewho park their automobiles. Roadway pricing would charge each user the marginal social cost ofeach trip. The cost may vary according to time and place of travel. Roadway pricing could takesuch variances into account far more easily than could tolls or parking charges. Electronic meteringwould be one method of charging for the use of roads. Electronic metering would be equitable inthe sense that it would charge people fees that vary according to the burden placed on the system.Full roadway pricing would not eliminate congestion, but would reduce congestion substantiallybelow present levels (Downs 1992, 52►. Practical, affordable techniques of implementing such apricing scheme have yet to be made widely available. Advances in micro-electronics and a planneddemonstration in Hong Kong do, however, suggest that such measures may be possible sometimein the future (OECD 1985, 126). Road pricing has received some criticism for its inequity,inefficiency, and invasion of privacy.If the goal of taxes is to reduce use of vehicles, it makes little sense to tax ownership.Sales taxes, registration fees, and license fees are all acquisition or ownership taxes rather than"use" taxes. In order to have a functional road network, a certain number of roads must exist. Itmakes sense that all beneficiaries should help pay for the basic system. Flat taxes may be used forthis purpose. There are, however, many costs that are incurred only to provide for peak perioddemand. Is it fair to tax all people equally regardless of the costs they impose on the system?Quite aside from the issue of fairness, such a system does little to encourage decreased use of theroads. To reduce demand for new roads, it is preferable to opt for use-related fees rather thanfixed fees. Fixed fees merely encourage people to make maximum use of their initial investment.People currently have an incentive to make the most of all the money they have paid to purchase,insure, register and license their vehicles. People rationalize that each time they use theirautomobile, they are helping to make the most of their "fixed" investment. By increasing costs63associated with usage (the variable costs), it is likely that many 'optional' trips could bediscouraged. Drivers "perceive operating costs poorly, special fees that are clearly related to giventrips (e.g. tolls, parking charges, supplementary licenses) are better perceived by users and aremore likely to influence travel behavior" (OECD 1985, 96). A reduction in trips would have theultimate result of decreasing the need for new roads. The provincial government can help reducethe need for new roads by relying more heavily on use-related taxes, and less heavily on fixed fees.Use-related taxes, may, however, cost more to collect. More study is needed to determinewhether the extra costs would outweigh the benefits gained by reducing road demand andincreasing equity.In addition to tactics that attempt to reduce demand by appealing to peoples' pocket books(market based approaches), there are tactics that attempt to force reduction in car trips (regulatoryapproaches) (Downs 1992, 23).One regulatory tactic that receives frequent mention is that of restricting the days on whichautomobiles can be driven. One way of doing this would be to restrict automobile usage accordingto license plate numbers.7 For example, on Mondays, all automobiles bearing license plates withnumbers ending in 1 and 2 would be banned from the roads. On Tuesdays, the affected licenseplate numbers would be 3 and 4, and so on. If each automobile were banned from the road oneday per work week, this would immediately reduce traffic by 20 percent. There are, however,several problems with this approach. There are commuters who would experience exceptionalhardship from such a regulation. If workplaces or homes are not well-served by transit and if ride-sharing is not possible, then such an approach would not seem reasonable. If "non-driving" dayswere based on license plate numbers, then individuals possessing more than one vehicle couldmerely switch automobiles on days when their "usual" automobile was banned from the roads.The problems potentially incurred with multiple automobile ownership could be averted if allvehicles registered to a particular household were given license plates ending with the same7This has been tried on a voluntary basis in Calgary, Alberta.64number. All drivers, regardless of income, would be affected by the regulation, and none couldcircumvent it by "buying their way out." If this approach were adopted, then a driver would haveto find alternate means of transportation on the "non driving" day. To make this tactic slightlymore palatable, drivers could be given some choice in the selection of their "automobile free" day. 8Enforcement could take place with periodic spot checks, much like the drinking/driving laws arenow enforced. Rather than imposing fines (which would place high income earners willing to paythe fine at an advantage), the penalty for driving on "banned" days, could be very stiff--confiscation of the offending driver's license for a stipulated time period. The stiffer the penalty,the less likely that drivers would be willing to take the risk of driving on banned days, and the lesswill be the need for enforcement. Drivers who could prove a legitimate and indispensable need fortheir car could be provided with exemptions.Another regulatory approach to reducing demand for road space is to impose mandatorydensification on newly developing suburbs. This tactic would not have immediate effects on trafficcongestion, but would have significant effects over the long run (Downs 1992, 97). It would bemuch more difficult to densify areas that are already built up. The relatively slight decreases intraffic congestion that would occur from doing so would not likely warrant the high costs of thedensification.So far, the approaches discussed have aimed to reduce demand for roads by eitherregulating use of roads or by providing market incentives to reduce demand. There is, however,also the possibility of adopting approaches to more effectively accommodate demand byintroducing supply-side tactics.The construction or designation of more High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes is onesupply-side tactic. Such an approach would seek to discourage the use of Single Occupancy8For example, when drivers register their vehicles and receive license plates for their cars, they could be givensome choice as to the number selected. The number selected would determine which days would be "non-driving" days.65Vehicles (SOV) and would thereby enable more efficient use of existing facilities. A vehicle takesup the same amount of road space whether it has one occupant or four. If the same number ofpeople as currently use the roads could be carried in fewer cars, the number of automobiles on theroad would be reduced, congestion would be alleviated and the need for many road-wideningscould be averted. If people enjoy speedier travel in HOV lanes, then ride sharers will receive somecompensation for the time that it takes to pick up and drop off additional passengers. HOV lanescan also be used to increase the relative attractiveness of public transit use. People often claimthat they do not use transit because travel by bus or train is slower than travel by car. If HOVlanes could confer significant time savings, then more people may be persuaded to travel by bus.HOV lanes need not necessarily be added to the existing road network. Such a tactic would bequite costly and would therefore delay implementation. An alternative would be to convert existinglanes to HOV lanes. This would increase congestion in other lanes, and would make transitrelatively more attractive. There is of course the danger that those who continue to ride in theSOV lanes will become angry and frustrated with the increased congestion and then push forretraction of such a policy (Downs 1992, 40).Another supply-side remedy would be to use technological solutions to make more efficientuse of existing roads. Such tactics might include better signal timing, TV monitoring, electronicsigns, and ramp signals (Downs 1992, 152).Unfortunately, the approaches which will likely be most effective in reducing demand arealso those approaches that would likely be considered least acceptable. Many punitive measureswould not "be in force long enough to have a major impact because those politicians whointroduced the measures would be booted out at the next election" (O'Connell 1973, 2). Demand-side tactics--including the most effective ones--have poor political acceptability (Downs 1992,151). The most effective supply-side tactics would require less traumatic institutional change thanthe most effective demand-side tactics (Ibid., 150). From a political perspective, it makes sense torely on supply side tactics. It is, perhaps, not surprising then that this has traditionally been the66approach adopted by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. There are, however, alsoshortfalls to the supply-side approach. Supply side tactics are generally far more costly to societyand they are generally less effective in reducing congestion than are demand side tactics.Recommended PolicyIntractable congestion combined with limited supplies of land and limited financial resourcessuggest that it is time to examine approaches other than traditional supply-side tactics. Before analternative strategy can be recommended, it is important to define the criteria which should ideallybe met by a new policy. A new policy should obviously be deemed to have the potential tosignificantly reduce traffic congestion. In other words, it ought to be effective. This effectivenessshould be achieved at minimal implementation cost. It is also important that the policy notdisproportionately affect those least able to pay. Finally, it is important that a new strategy beflexible enough to adjust to changes that occur over time, and between municipalities. Finding apolicy that meets all these objectives is certainly a tall order. Once the criteria of politicalacceptability is added, the difficulties become even greater. It may be difficult to completely fulfillall of the above objectives. The definition of the goals does, however, help in ranking theacceptability of various approaches. Obviously, the approaches that are selected will depend onthe values considered most important by the policy-setter.The implementation phase should start with the less onerous policies. Such policies might,for example, include changing tax laws to make employer-provided transit passes a tax-free benefitor increasing advertising to encourage ride-sharing. If such tactics do not prove sufficientlyeffective, they should be followed by implementation of some of the least "regressive" marketapproaches. The success of such measures should be monitored carefully. If traffic reductionobjectives can not be accomplished with such measures then more regulatory measures may needto be implemented. The object should not be to price or regulate cars out of existence sinceautomobiles will still be necessary for some trips. The goal should rather be to limit automobiles tothose trips for which they are best suited. Peak hour use would generally not be one of those67uses. It is peak hour usage that is responsible for most of the demand on provincially-fundedroads. At non-peak hours, those roads are often operating below capacity. To reduce futureroadway land costs, it is therefore peak hour trips which should be targeted. The goal should be toreduce traffic sufficiently to minimize the need for new construction. In order of implementation,recommendations are as follows:1) Change tax laws to make employer-provided transit passes a tax-free benefit2) Place peak-hour tolls on all bridge and tunnel crossings in the Greater VancouverRegion3) Impose a peak-hour parking tax surcharge for parking in areas that are well-servedby transit and receive a lot of traffic (such as Downtown Vancouver)4) Introduce full road pricingIn order to minimize the regressive impacts of market approaches such as peak hour tollsand parking taxes, transportation tax credits could be offered to those earning low incomes.9 Suchtax credits should not, however, completely cancel the effect of price increases. If completerefunds were offered then the charges would have little effect on driving behaviours. To be mosteffective, the charges should still be sufficient to discourage unnecessary driving. The point is thatthe charge necessary to discourage those of lower incomes from driving is less than that requiredto change the behaviours of wealthier individuals. The purpose of the road charges is to changebehaviours; not to raise revenue.Most of the policies which have been suggested are fairly harsh. But, if British Columbiansare serious about reducing congestion, such measures will be necessary. Less drastic policies haverepeatedly proven unsuccessful in reducing congestion and thereby reducing roadway landconsumption.9 Such transportation tax credits could be offered by allowing people earning under a certain income to deduct a"transportation amount" from their taxable income.68Traditionally, supply side measures have been used to cope with congestion. Suchmeasures have often involved using more land for roads. Increasingly it is being realized thatsupplying more roads does not eliminate congestion. The repeated failure of such "supply-side"tactics suggests that it may be time to adopt other approaches. Such approaches may includeones that focus on changing people's behaviours and thus changing the demand for roads. All therecommendations that have been given focus on changing demand for roads.The recommended policies cannot be implemented overnight. There are several reasons forthat. First, some of the tactics will require installation of special equipment. Second, the publicwill require time to adjust to the idea of being charged more directly for the use of roads. Ittherefore makes sense to start with policies that would be the least politically unpopular and theleast expensive to implement. If it becomes apparent that such policies are sufficient to result indesired traffic reductions, then the more drastic measures may never be needed. On the otherhand, if the less drastic measures prove insufficient, then pressure may be exerted for harsheraction. The gradual approach also makes sense because it "has a greater chance of eventualsuccess than aiming at the perfect solution on the first go" (OECD 1985, 113).8.4 POSSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION PROBLEMSPolicy is effective only to the extent that it can predict peoples' reactions. People are,however, fairly unpredictable. Unpredictability is particularly prevalent when a large number ofoptions are available. It is important to remember that people have a wide variety of choices evenwith the implementation of any of the suggested policies. People may not necessarily react topolicy changes by reducing their automobile travel. Drivers' reactions can include switching mode,changing time of travel or route, foregoing the trip entirely, or paying the newly imposed toll or fee(OECD 1985, 95►.69The key to changing peoples' behavior is really to change their attitudes. If public attitudesare changed, then public policies may not even be necessary. Without a change in attitude, it isactually unlikely that public policies to reduce roadway land consumption will even be implemented.After all, the steps that would be required to reduce the Greater Vancouver region's consumptionof land for roads would not likely be politically or socially popular.^Politicians implementingseverely unpopular measures would not likely be re-elected.^The policies implemented byunpopular politicians would therefore be rather short-lived.Full road-pricing is not likely to be politically popular. Even in Sweden, where governmentcontrol is fairly widespread, road-pricing is ranked as the least desirable method of reducing traffic.Table 7 shows Stockholm politicians' and administrators' relative preferences for various policymethods of reducing traffic.70TABLE 7:POPULARITY OF MEASURES TO REDUCE TRAFFIC IN STOCKHOLMMEASURE^ For^Against^No OpinionImproved public transport^ 73 4^23Park and ride 67^7 32Parking restrictions^ 50 6 44Taxing benefit of free parking^ 27^10^63Less income tax reduction on 26 7 68work trip costsCar pooling^ 23^3^74Road pricing 12 43 45Source: OECD, Co-ordinated Urban Transport Pricing. Paris: OECD, 1985, p. 113.It is interesting to see that the least intrusive methods generally receive the mostacceptance. Incentives appear more acceptable than disincentives. The OECD concludes that "thelesson seems to be that one should start on a small scale and make gradual extension of whateverroad pricing device is chosen. People have to get used to paying directly for road use, and it hasto be demonstrated that the price system works without too much administrative cost. Thegradual approach has a greater chance of eventual success than aiming at the perfect solution onthe first go" (OECD 1985, 113).It is important to remember that there are reasons for peoples' current behaviour. Manypeople live in the suburbs and commute vast distances because the suburbs are the only placewhere they can afford the home and the lifestyle that they desire. Increasing the costs of drivingwould force changes. Some of these changes may not be considered particularly desirable. Byincreasing the costs of driving, the total costs of living in the suburbs and the total costs of livingcloser to work might be made more equal. However, this new, more "equal" cost may still behigher than the cost of currently living in the suburbs. Presuming that incomes do not change, thisnew higher cost may not be affordable to some people. To make ends meet, people may have toresort to other changes such as car-pooling, taking transit, or finding jobs closer to where they live.Such changes are usually considered disruptive and unpleasant.71For real change to occur, rather significant life-style changes would have to be accepted.Life-style changes are never easy nor are they usually particularly popular when they are madenecessary by political decisions. Garret Hardin has commented that "infringements made in thedistant past are accepted because no contemporary complains of a loss. It is the newly proposedinfringements that we vigorously oppose; cries of 'rights' and 'freedom' fill the air. But what does'freedom' mean? Individuals locked into the logic of the commons are free only to bring onuniversal ruin; once they see the necessity of mutual coercion, they become free to pursue othergoals" (Hardin 1968, 1248). This is something that Vancouver's Clouds of Change (1990) reportcommented on. In that report it was stated that: "without a major initiative of public discussionand education, efforts to reduce emissions of atmospheric pollutants will be seen by many as aninfringement of 'my' individual 'freedom' to, for example, commute to work in my car by myself.With substantial discussion and involvement, most people will realize that our most importantshared 'freedom' is literally our freedom to breathe" (City of Vancouver, 1990, p. 67).To facilitate implementation, it is suggested that the positive aspects of change beemphasized. One benefit would be that congestion would be reduced and land that mightotherwise be used for roads could be used for other purposes. Also, the revenue collected fromdirectly charging drivers for road use, could be used to reduce other taxes. Small suggested afurther benefit when he said that policies such as those recommended could restore the highwaysystem "as a functioning component of the system of urban production, making the entire urbaneconomy run more smoothly and providing its members with higher incomes" (Small et al. 1989, p.86). While on the surface, the recommended policies may appear rather draconian, that initialimpression can be softened by stressing the significant advantages of such policies.No policy will have a lasting impact unless the majority of the public supports it. Downshas suggested that three requirements must be met before the recommended policies can besuccessful. First, traffic congestion must be perceived as enough of a problem that people will72look for a cure. Second, the public must understand that only a "rather painful cure will work".Third, anticongestion feelings must be strong enough to cause politicians to act (Downs 1992,164). Currently, it would seem that the first condition has been met: people are indeed awarethat a problem exists. The second and third conditions have not been met. Many people are stillunder the impression that problems can be solved by constructing more roads. Before the publiccan support "demand side" measures, they must have increased knowledge of both the costs ofroads and the futility of catering to the insatiable demand for more roads. This thesis is acompilation of information that could be used to increase such knowledge.739.0 CONCLUSIONSociety must ultimately decide whose rights and what rights are most important. It wouldappear that current land use patterns cannot continue without significant effects upon the qualityof life of both current and future generations, not just in the Lower Mainland, but also in moredistant locations. Are Lower Mainland residents willing to sacrifice vast amounts of land tocontinue to enjoy the individual privileges of driving? Should governments continue to meet theinsatiable demands of automobile drivers or should they instead adopt a broader approach totransportation--an approach in which access to transportation is considered a necessary right, butone in which that transportation need not always be in the form of an automobile?There is considerable evidence that the Greater Vancouver regions reliance on automobilesis incurred at significant cost. These costs can be reduced if certain changes are brought about. Amajor barrier to change has been the lack of a perfect alternative. Garret Hardin has summarizedthe constant battle between change and the status quo. He stated that "it is one of thepeculiarities of the warfare between reform and the status quo that it is thoughtlessly governed bya double standard--automatic rejection of proposed reforms is based on one of two unconsciousassumptions: (i) that the status quo is perfect (li) that the choice we face is between reform and noaction; if the proposed reform is imperfect, we presumably should take no action at all, while wewait for a perfect proposal" (Hardin 1968, 1247). The status quo is obviously not perfect. 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Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books.APPENDIX 1:SUMMARY OF ESTIMATED ROADWAY LAND VALUES, BY MUNICIPALITYROAD NAME LENGTH(km)WIDTH ROAD AREA(m)^(m2)VALUE($/ha)TOTALVALUEBURNABYKingsway 6.79 25 170,769 $3,335,600 $56,961,541Lougheed Hwy. 9.90 30 301,752 $1,076,000 $32,468,515Canada Way 4.14 20 83,214 $1,076,000 $8,953,826Tenth Avenue 2.01 20 40,401 $968,400 $3,912,433Barnet Hwy 10.27 30 308,100 $3,873,600 $119,345,616Trans-Canada Hwy. 22.90 60 1,374,000 $2,905,200 $399,174,480Grandview Hwy. 0.09 20 1,809 $1,076,000 $194,648Marine Way 5.80 40 233,334 $430,400 $10,042,695Gaglardi Way 6.10 60 366,000 $2,259,600 $82,701,360North Road (west side) 2.25 15 33,750 $2,367,200 $7,989,300Subtotal $721,744,415COQUITLAMBrunette Street 0.64 20 12,864 $1,721,600 $2,214,666Trans-Canada Hwy. 11.67 84 980,280 $1,506,400 $147,669,379Lougheed Hwy. 11.76 36 423,360 $1,936,800 $81,996,365Barnet Hwy. 1.93 30 57,900 $2,797,600 $16,198,104Mary Hill Bypass etc 3.00 20 60,000 $1,721,600 $10,329,600Mariner Way OH 0.60 28 16,800 $1,721,600 $2,892,288North Road (east side) 2.25 10 22,500 $1,506,400 $3,389,400Clarke Road 1.69 20 33,800 $1,829,200 $6,182,696Subtotal $270,872,498DELTATwawwassen Hwy. 10.35 46 472,995 $1,519,312 $71,862,698Point Roberts Hwy. 4.57 20 91,400 $2,519,992 $23,032,727Scott Road (west side) 7.92 8 59,400 $2,705,064 $16,068,080Vancouver-Blaine Hwy. 14.76 69 1,012,536 $6,456 $653,693Roberts Bank Road 5.31 18 93,987 $11,836 $111,243Swenson Road 0.93 14 12,741 $1,850,720 $2,358,002Annacis Is. Access Rd. 0.43 82 35,260 $1,216,956 $4,290,987Annacis Is. Hwy. 23.10 82 1,894,200 $1,216,956 $230,515,806Ladner-Langley Hwy. 13.00 20 261,300 $578,888 $15,126,343Subtotal $364,019,579CITY OF LANGLEYFraser Hwy. 4.83 28 137,172 $1,011,440 $13,874,125200th St. (CarvoIth Rd) 0.11 20 2,211 $1,085,684 $240,045Langley Bypass 1.27 37 47,371 $814,532 $3,858,520Ladner-Langl Hwy. 2.64 37 98,472 $654,208 $6,442,117Aldergrove-Bell. Hwy. 6.50 20 130,650 $101,144 $1,321,446200th St. (CarvoIth Rd) 3.22 20 64,722 $1,085,684 $7,026,764Subtotal $32,763,01679. . . continuedAPPENDIX 1 continued .. .ROAD NAME LENGTH WIDTH ROAD AREA VALUE TOTAL(km) (m) (m2) ($/ha) VALUEDISTRICT OF LANGLEYLadner-Langl&Glover Rd 9.66 37 360,318 $923,208 $33,264,846Fraser Hwy. 17.70 28 502,680 $205,516 $10,330,878County Line Rd. 4.34 20 87,234 $87,156 $760,297Trans-Canada Hwy. 32.86 78 2,556,508 $192,604 $49,239,367200th St. (Carvolth Rd.) 5.02 20 100,902 $246,404 $2,486,266Ladner-Langley Hwy. 2.78 37 103,694 $86,080 $892,598Subtotal $96,974,251NEW WESTMINSTERPatullo Bridge Approach 5.30 60 318,000 $2,690,000 $85,542,000Annacis Island Hwy. 6.20 60 372,000 $1,766,610 $65,717,892Annacis Is. Access Rd. 2.30 20 46,230 $1,766,610 $8,167,038Stewardson Way etc 7.35 20 147,735 $2,582,400 $38,151,08620th Street 0.80 20 16,080 $2,474,800 $3,979,478Subtotal $201,557,495PORT COQUITLAMLougheed Hwy. 5.23 55 287,650 $1,506,400 $43,331,596Mary Hill Bypass 6.00 20 120,000 $1,398,800 $16,785,600Subtotal $60,117,196PORT MOODYBarnet Hwy. 6.32 60 379,200 $1,829,200 $69,363,264loco-Pt Moody Rd. 8.00 33 264,000 $2,259,600 $59,653,440Clark St. 1.25 30 37,500 $1,183,600 $4,438,500Clarke Rd. 1.29 33 42,570 $1,614,000 $6,870,798Heritage Mtn Blvd. 2.21 58 128,180 $1,936,800 $24,825,902Subtotal $165,151,904RICHMONDSea Island Hwy. 1.50 32 48,000 $2,044,400 $9,813,120Vancouver-Blaine Hwy. 10.03 70 702,100 $753,200 $52,882,172Knight St. 7.11 75 533,250 $1,291,200 $68,853,240Annacis Is. Hwy. 1.75 70 122,500 $1,216,956 $14,907,711Richmond Freeway 31.00 24 744,000 $1,076,000 $80,054,400No3 Road&Bridgeport 3.7 20 74,370 $982,000 $7,303,134Subtotal $233,813,77780.. continuedAPPENDIX 1 continued . . .ROAD NAME^LENGTH WIDTH ROAD AREA VALUE TOTAL(km) (m) (m2) ($/ha) VALUESURREYCampbell River Rd.^1.61 20 32,361 $354,000 $1,145,579Ladner-Lang Hwy. 10.04 26 261,040 $604,712 $15,785,402Scott Rd. (east side)^11.33 10 113,300 $831,748 $9,423,705Ladner-Langley Hwy. 4.46 26 115,960 $604,712 $7,012,240Vancouver-Blaine Hwy.^22.93 61 1,398,730 $520,784 $72,843,620Trans-Canada Hwy.^22.56 75 1,692,000 $866,180 $146,557,656King George Hwy. 27.02 38 1,026,760 $680,032 $69,822,966Fraser Hwy.^14.08 20 283,008 $918,904 $26,005,718Ladner-Langley Hwy.^0.97 26 25,220 $604,712 $1,525,084Pacific Hwy. 19.20 56 1,075,200 $216,276 $23,253,996Campbell River Rd.^2.41 20 48,441 $354,000 $1,714,811Marine Dr. etc 9.25 20 185,925 $1,740,968 $32,368,948152 Street^ 2.41 27 64,588 $1,483,804 $9,583,593Subtotal $417,043,318VANCOUVERCassiar Connector^6.90 30 210,315 $5,380,000 $113,149,232Subtotal $113,149,232CITY OF NORTH VANCOUVERTrans Canada Hwy.^4.81 46 219,916 $4,519,200 $99,384,382Subtotal $99,384,382DISTRICT OF NORTH VANCOUVERTrans Canada Hwy.^12.31 60 738,600 $2,690,000 $198,683,400Fern St.^ 2.40 20 48,240 $2,367,200 $11,419,373Mt. Seymour Pk. Rd.^12.50 20 251,250 $3,873,600 $97,324,200Mt Seymour Parkway 3.90 30 117,000 $3,443,200 $40,285,440Subtotal $347,712,413WEST VANCOUVERMarine Dr. Addition^0.16 13 2,080 $4,734,400 $984,755Taylor Way^ 1.13 55 62,150 $2,259,600 $14,043,414Garibaldi Hwy. 5.31 30 159,300 $215,200 $3,428,136Marine Dr. 0.80 13 10,400 $4,734,400 $4,923,776Trans Canada Hwy.^30.83 50 1,541,500 $3,120,400 $481,009,660CypressBowl Pk Rd. 4.90 50 245,000 $215,200 $5,272,400Subtotal $509,662,141WHITE ROCKMarine Dr.^ 5.02 20 100,902 $2,671,708 $26,958,068Subtotal $26,958,068GRAND TOTAL $3,660,923,687Notes: (1) The widths given are for right-of-ways, which include the actual road and theshoulders, ditches, and other land that must be purchased before a road can beconstructed.Data sources: Ministry of Transportation and Highways (road names and road lengths),BC Assessment Authority (approximate land values)8182.APPENDIX 2:SAMPLE MILL RATES, BY MUNICIPALITY(per thousand dollars assessed value)Residential Business LightIndustrialMajorIndustrialFarmlandBurnaby 8.8 26.2 31.0 42.0DeltaAnnacis 27.2 28.9 34.0Ladner 12.1 30.1 31.1 35.4 16.9North Delta 11.5 28.2 28.3 34.4 18.1South Delta 12.0 27.8 16.5District of Langley 11.6 27.2 29.7 29.9 13.9North Vancouver 9.0 22.3 30.7 36.8Port Moody 10.5 29.7 39.0 49.7Surrey 10.2 25.7 26.6 12.5West Vancouver 8.6 22.9 24.5 26.7Coquitlam 9.9 29.1 33.2 43.4Langley 12.4 23.7 24.6 24.9 13.5New Westminster 11.3 29.5 38.2 41.6North Vancouver 9.9 23.8 36.3 45.8Port Coquitlam 11.2 29.5 31.1 33.3Richmond 8.8 22.0 32.0 33.0 13.0Vancouver 7.6 28.8 39.6 42.0White Rock 6.0 13.1Data Source: Tax Departments of respective municipalities83APPENDIX 3:DOWN'S RATINGS OF POLICIES FOR REDUCING TRAFFIC CONGESTIONEffectiveness^Costs^ImplementationPolicya^Extent^Impact^Direct to^To all^Required^Ease of^Politicalcommuters society^institution^admin- acceptablityistrationSupply SideRapidly removing accidents^Variable^Great^None^Minor^None^Easy^GoodImproving Highway Maintenance^Broad^Moderate^None^Moderate^None^Moderate^Mod.Building added I-10V lanes Variable^Moderate^None^Great^Cooperative^Hard^ModerateBuilding new roads without^Variable Moderate^None^Great^Cooperative Moderate^PoorHOV lanesUpgrading City Streets Variable Moderate^None^Moderate^None^Easy^ModerateBuilding new off-road transitsystems, expaning existing ones^Narrow^Moderate^Minor^Great^Cooperative^Hard^PoorIncreasing public transit usage by Narrow^Minor^None^Moderate^None^Hard^Moderateimproving service, amenitiesCoordinating signals, TV monitoring^Narrow^Minor^None^Minor^None^Moderate^Goodramp signals, electronic signs,converting streets to one-wayDemand SideInstituting peak-hour tolls onmain roadsBroad Great Great None Regional^Moderate PoorParking tax on peak-hour arrivals Broad Great Great None Regional^Hard PoorEliminating income tax deductabilityof providing free employee parkingBroad Great Great None Cooperative Moderate PoorProviding income tax deductabilityfor commuting allowance for allworkersVariable Great None Minor None^Easy PoorIncreasing gasoline taxes Broad Moderate Great Moderate None^Easy PoorKeeping densities in new growthareas above minimal levelsBroad Moderate None Minor Regional^Hard PoorEncouraging formation of TMAs,promoting ride-sharingNarrow Moderate None Minor Cooperative^Hard ModerateEncouraging people to work athomeBroad Minor None None None^Moderate GoodChanging federal work laws thatdiscourage working at homeBroad Minor None Minor None^Moderate ModerateStaggering work hours Variable Minor None None Cooperative Moderate ModerateClustering high-density housingnear transit station stopsNarrow Minor None Minor Cooperative^Hard ModerateConcentrating jobs in big clustersin areas of new growthNarrow Minor None Great Regional^Hard PoorIncreasing automobile license fees Broad Minor Moderate Minor None^Easy PoorImproving the jobs-housing balance Broad Minor None Moderate Regional^Hard PoorAdopting local growth limits Narrow Minor None Minor None^Easy Gooda. Policies are listed within categoriese in descending order of effectivenessSource: Anthony Downs. Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion. Washington D.C.:The Brookings Institution, 1992, pp. 152-153.

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