Get creative on congestion, DOT says to states, cities

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has urged states and cities to submit proposals for new ways to fight traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas.

“Our quality of life and continued economic prosperity demand that we find creative solutions to the growing burden of congestion,” Peters said Friday, Dec. 8. “We want to work with forward-thinking state and local leaders to find new ways to get people and goods moving again.”

Through new “Urban Partnership Agreements,” Peters’ agency will provide grants, loans, credit support, regulatory relief and technical assistance to test congestion-relieving technologies such as ramp metering and real-time travel information systems.

In return, states and cities will be expected to research and develop congestion-relieving strategies such as variable rush-hour tolls, mass transit and incentives for employers to encourage telecommuting and flexible work schedules.

Applications must be received by April 30, and results should be announced by Aug. 8, Peters said.