L.A. may charge drivers by the mile, adding freeway tolls to cut congestion

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Morning commuters face heavy traffic on the express lanes on the 10 Freeway. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s focus on congestion pricing could lead to similar lanes on other freeways across Los Angeles County. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

For years, Southern California lawmakers have tried to steer clear of decisions that make driving more expensive or miserable, afraid of angering one of their largest groups of constituents.

But now, transportation officials say, congestion has grown so bad in Los Angeles County that politicians have no choice but to contemplate charging motorists more to drive — a strategy that has stirred controversy but helped cities in other parts of the world tame their own traffic.

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