One of the areas where the US continues to fall behind Europe is in the pleasantness of its cities, since for the past fifty or sixty years policy has been to make spaces more accessible to automobiles and less accessible to people. The consequences of this have been congestion, pollution, population flight and sprawl. Now Boston city councillor Paul Scapicchio is proposing that our fair city emulate the example of London, which has tried to control traffic in the city center by imposing entry tolls. The larger businesses will probably oppose the plan, but there seems to be some positive reaction both from Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts transportation prophet Fred Salvucci.
Charging fees by itself, of course, is an incomplete policy. The plan would need to be part of a larger effort to develop a center city pedestrian zone and to invest heavily in the city's certifiably wretched public transport system. Malo da se i mi Ameri civilizujemo.