STREET SMART: Competition, Entrepreneurship, and the Future of Roads

Published by and can be purchased at The Independence Institute
Edited by Gabriel Roth
Foreword by Mary E. Peters, Secretary of Transportation

Effective road transportation is crucial to economic and social well-being. Yet in cities worldwide, existing road systems suffer from government policies responsible for traffic congestion, unsafe conditions, high costs, political corruption, waste and pork, environmental degradation, and poor maintenance.

Street Smart examines private, market-based alternatives for road services, both in theory and practice. The book explores at least four such possible directions for private services, including testing and licensing vehicles and drivers; management of government-owned road facilities; franchising; and outright private ownership. The book further traces the history of private roads in Great Britain and the United States and examines contemporary examples of entrepreneurial innovation in road pricing, privatization, and marketization in environs as diverse as Singapore, California, Ghana, Norway, and England.

The main obstacle to private road services rests with political classes reluctant to give up their lucrative sources of power, wealth and influence through current government road monopolies. However, those seeking responsive road services determined by the free interplay of consumers and private suppliers will find Street Smart making a powerful and authoritative case for the need for change and provides essential understanding of the complex issues involved.

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©2007 Coalition On Sustainable Transportation