So maybe the chances of this idea getting into the current highway bill are slim to none. And maybe the guy proposing it (Stephen Moore) is on that infamous editorial board.

But the idea isn’t half bad. And it makes sense. Here it is: avoid congestion (and $70 billion in lost time annually) by charging people for driving at peak times. Just like matinee movie tickets or off-peak phone hours — only the opposite. Moore cites Robert Nelson at the University of Maryland who wrote this essay detailing the idea.

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations matched!

Roughly the same idea has been proposed in the U.K., although they are taking a slightly more high-tech approach. Moore cites technology that can “read” a car going 60 mph without being in outer space, although Nelson does mention the satellite idea.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.