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The feasibility of implementing a congestion charge on the Halifax Peninsula: filling the 'Missing Link' of implementation

Althaus, Catherine and Tedds, Lindsay M and McAVoy, Allen (2011): The feasibility of implementing a congestion charge on the Halifax Peninsula: filling the 'Missing Link' of implementation. Published in: Canadian Public Policy , Vol. 37, No. 4 (2011)

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Abstract

Congestion charges pose a policy dilemma due to the balance that must be made between the management of a quasi public good along with the correction of negative externalities against the needs of economic, demographic, and urban growth along with citizen acceptance. The literature provides detailed rationales for congestion charges but minimal consideration on how to implement such charges once the decision to proceed has been made. The purpose of this article is to expose some of the technical and administrative issues that come with enacting and implementing congestion charges. The Halifax Peninsula is used as a case study to illuminate the topic. Drawing on this case, we spell out eleven ex ante implementation criteria that can be used to assess implementation considerations in any given congestion charge context. In so doing, we argue that context-specific factors must also be recognized and accommodated by policy and decision makers if congestion charge policy is to present a feasible, and palatable, choice.

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