This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
There’s a great set of data that deserves a link. It turns out that a BC bridge is failing to pay for itself through tolling, and the Columbia River Crossing project might not pay for itself. Why? Because traffic volumes have been falling in the Pacific Northwest. Clark Williams-Derry presents data showing that driving has gone down in Seattle, Portland, Washington, and Oregon by no small amounts and in at least one case before the financial crisis or fuel spikes hit.
And in one of the comments, a private company in Queensland filed for bankrupcy because instead of tolled traffic growing from 60,000 vehicles to 100,000 vehicles it dropped off to 20,000 even when they cut their toll in half. This might point to an internation trend away from the car. Or at least a lesson for us before we start building an expensive tunnel that is expected to pay for itself using tolls and future car volume growth.