Give thanks for where you live. Even if Harrison Square surpasses all expectations and creates traffic snarls the likes of which we have never seen, downtown Fort Wayne will still not be like downtown Chicago:
Motorists who insist on driving in downtown Chicago should pay a London-style "congestion fee" -- now $16 a day there -- to ease traffic jams, reduce air pollution and provide a bonanza of sorely needed funding for the CTA, the City Council's most influential alderman said Wednesday.
Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) wants City Council hearings, to at least explore the possibility of charging motorists for the privilege of driving downtown.
London started in 2003 with a congestion fee of 5 pounds, roughly $10, that has since been raised to 8 pounds or $16.
On Earth Day, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed an $8 fee on cars and $21 on trucks that drive in congested Lower Manhattan south of 86th Street to raise $400 million for public transportation projects in the first year alone. The New York Legislature is considering the idea.
"It's certainly a very complicated issue and not one that can be rushed into. But, I thought as long as London is doing it, as long as New York is doing it, that perhaps it's an idea that Chicago ought to consider," Burke said.
Let's see. Government created the cities. Government encouraged driving in many ways, such as creating an elaborate highway system. Government gets billions in taxes on gasoline. But the problem is caused by drivers who "insist on" driving downtown. Sure, that makes sense.