Surely make you lose your mind…

Our first edition of the summer mailbag is here with a contribution from the always ebullient “Mr. O,” who says he sees economics everywhere these days.  The article in question has to do with a congesting pricing scheme in Chicago, and of particular interest to Mr. O is the methodology in which people’s time is valued.  As you may recall from, well, from all of my classes, a classic study by Deacon and Sonstelie that valued time by watching how long people were willing to wait to fill up their gasoline at price-controlled stations rather than paying market prices across the street.

In Chicago, as the saying goes, there are two seasons: winter and construction. And all that construction [isn’t] free. So the program would benefit those who are willing to pay for a faster commute (in the so-called “Lexis Lanes”) and raise bucketloads of cash for the metro area.

What’s the down side?