1. “Experts have proposed increasing road taxes for Moscow drivers six or seven-fold in an effort to alleviate the Russian capital’s notorious traffic congestion.”
2. Moscow Mayor Sobyanin wants to regulate taxis, of which over 80% (!) are current unlicensed. Racial undertones abound (“They should get them off the road, especially those who came from the mountains”), and you know a plan is probably not a good idea when even the monopolists (i.e., current licensed drivers) are skeptical.
3. Moscow drivers are planning a protest over the recent death of a student at the hands of one of the city’s notorious official cars that use flashing blue lights to routinely halt traffic throughout the congested capital.
4. Russian President Medvedev has signed a decree banning foreigners from owning land along most of Russia’s borders with Finland and Norway. It’s unclear how they’ll deal with land already owned by them. It’s unclear to me if the ban includes land extending into, say, the Russian city of Vyborg.
5. The Potemkin Village of Skolkovo. Is there any officially-designated Silicon Valley wannabe that hasn’t been an utter failure?
More on Moscow’s unfortunate urbanism here.