Banning Cars from Manhattan (Paul Goodman)

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Now online at the Bureau of Public Secrets website:
"BANNING CARS FROM MANHATTAN" by Paul & Percival Goodman http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/goodman-cars.htm
"We propose banning private cars from Manhattan Island. . . . Present congestion and parking are unworkable, and other proposed solutions are uneconomic, disruptive, unhealthy, nonurban, or impractical. . . ."
* * *
Of related interest at the same website:
"Urbanism and Community Planning" (Kenneth Rexroth) http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth/essays/urbanism.htm
"Formulary for a New Urbanism" (Ivan Chtcheglov) http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/Chtcheglov.htm
"Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography" (Guy Debord) http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/urbgeog.htm
"Situationist Theses on Traffic" (Debord) http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/3.traffic.htm
"Elementary Program of the Bureau of Unitary Urbanism" (Kotanyi & Vaneigem) http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/6.unitaryurb.htm
"Territorial Domination" (chapter of Debord's book "The Society of the Spectacle") http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/debord/7.htm
"The Blossoming of Free Communities" (section of Ken Knabb's "The Joy of Revolution") http://www.bopsecrets.org/PS/joyrev4.htm
* * *
BUREAU OF PUBLIC SECRETS P.O. Box 1044, Berkeley CA 94701, USA http://www.bopsecrets.org
"Making petrified conditions dance by singing them their own tune."
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Knapp:
snipped-for-privacy@bopsecrets.org wrote:

Do you suggest that people walk instead of take cars? Or, should socialistic transportations systems be the norm?
What would happen to the private property and private enterprise system that enabled America to be productive if their liberty, e.g., their freedom to act was impaired? Are private property and individual liberty next to be disappeared in your system?
A non-socialist proposal would be to freely admit private cars into Manhattan. Government business owned vehicles, except for police and city government administration vehicles, which are intended for a legitimate purpose of government, e.g., to protect the rights of the citizens, would be sold. The government's transportation businesses would be sold to private enterprise concerns or to the general public by means of public stock offerings. There is no reason whatsoever for government owned and mandated transportation industry businesses.
The excessive New York City sales taxes on parking prices (that are what? 18 percent?) should be adjusted to be the same as for all other products and services in New York City (8,25 percent), or, better, abolished altogether.
Restrictions upon the construction of private above ground, high-rise, and underground parking garages or industrial parking businesses would be removed.
Capital would flow into the parking industry at unprecedented rates, and the construction of parking facilities would increase at a dramatic pace. The new facilities would take cars off the streets and free the flow of traffic.
How to get into Manhattan? More tunnels would be constructed if legal monopoly restrictions set to protect the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey socialistic businesses would be removed. The PATH owns major bridge, tunnel, harbor facilities, land, subway, bus, and airport businesses, and all those should be completely sold as public stock companies. The sale of the PATH would bring in massive amounts of capital to the NYC area, and that would be returned to the public as amortized reductions in the fees for services charged. A huge renaissance of harbor facilities would occur, and unprecedented reconstruction of New York City's drab harbor would occur: there would be marinas, ship passenger facilities, parking, recreation, universities, apartment buildings, office buildings, and you name it that would be built all around Manhattan Island and New York City in general.
Private firms would free the traffic coming into NYC. They would charge fees, and those either higher or lower than present, would be set by the free market. No price controls or restrictions would be invoked. NYC private firms would on balance would receive an increase in sales revenues.
Underground parking facilities can be built. Proof of that is the East Side Access project that is constructing four 60 ft. diam. underground railroad tunnels to bring trains East from Penn Station and then North into a new rail station located below the two existing levels of tracks at Grand Central station. Also being constructed are a passenger concourse and shopping mall to be located above the new station's two levels of tracks and below the existing tracks of Grand Central Station. The four new tubes will then continue to the North and to the East under the East River and will surface somewhere out in Jamaica, Queens on Long Island. The project was going to cost $5B. An engineer I know said that the project recently went to $6B, and he said that before it is done the tab will be $10B. Still, the concept of solid rock tunneling beneath is being demonstrated, and Manhattan could be tunneled to create parking facilities. Whether tunneling to create parking facilities would be achieved at costs lower than for high-rise facilities remains to be seen.
Parking facilities underground may require integration with new road tunnel and subway facilities, and the parking could be placed under the shore areas or the rivers of Manhattan Island.
I say that free enterprise in the context of liberty and individual rights is the proved American system for providing valuable goods and services and making them available for purchase. Free enterprise solutions without fascistic controls and governmental monopolies should be enabled. People and businesses should be granted the freedom to create the necessary parking businesses, to freely negotiate and purchase the rights to subsurface land or easements, and to build what is needed.
I don't know that many more cars would actually be brought into Manhattan in the future because of the improvements and convenience of train travel, however, the congestion of NYC streets and parking would be greatly reduced by enabling more free enterprise parking businesses and parking facilities at untaxed prices. Additionally, deliveries and construction would be facilitated by the addition of greater private parking facilities.
Free enterprise should be granted the unrestricted opportunity to provide all transportation and parking facilities for New York City.
Liberty means that the people of America are free to act to create and provide the property and wealth of facilities that they need for themselves in order to continue their lives and prosper.
Let the people and free enterprise be free to act.
Ralph Hertle
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wrote:

Private enterprise gave up on the subway systems 75 years ago because the city would not allow fares to increase. Airports can easily be sold, and ought to be, all over the country. They make money. ATC should be private too, as in Canada and Switzerland. However, without the subsidies in NYC it is likely that businesses would move to vastly cheaper places to do business. That would help the economy and stop rewarding inefficient operations.
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it
Are you daring to suggest that the pinnacle of American Commerce And Freedom is an artificially propped up wreck that would implode given half a chance?
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Bentonville is doing just fine and needs no subsidy so the "pinnacle of American Commerce And Freedom" isn't what is under discussion. NYC is an obsolete urban form that is surviving on inertia and subsidy. Removing just one of the numerous subsidies would empty the place out in a week, transit operating supports.
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Robert:
Robert Cote wrote:

Provide HPO with just a single example of a subsidy.
The Taxi industry? It would seem to me that the taxis are a rich source of tax revenues for the city and its coercive altruists.
The three major airports that are owned by PATH? Subsidies? Hell no. The airports earn 100's of millions for the PATH.
Now don't tell me that NYC subsidizes the parking industry. Its the other way around. The city looks the other way when parking lot computers systematically skim an illegal percentage from the customers, and there is no place to call to complain. No City agency has an open phone line for that purpose. The police? Monumental disinterest in the subject. The politicos must be receiving kickbacks to make the skimming possible. Then there is the 18 percent (that's EIGHTEEN percent) sales tax paid to the City, Not to mention the NYC mandated ultra-high prices for parking. And the tricky pricing schedules that college educated persons cannot understand. And the closing hour requirements that say that if you are in the garage when closing hour occurs, and one minute after that occurs, you can get your car out only if you pay the base daily rate for the next day. You are claiming a subsidy? Get serious.
Then there are the bridges. You pay one way, but that fee is $8. Millions use the bridges. Subsidy? You are out of your mind.
Where is there a single subsidy?
.........
What is an "urban form"? Some type of Platonic approximation? For what?
New York City is a wonder of American productivity. Industries that are centered there are in fact those that need that type of central marketplace, e.g., the financial, banking, commodities, stock trading, and other markets. You don't find soy bean production there, honey bees, or aircraft manufacturing there.
The main problem is not the subsidies. It is the rebates that flow in the opposite direction to support the good thing, e.g., the golden calf of money roped in by the greedy coercive altruists, regulators, government monopolists, land use manipulation, taxers, politicians, related services and sub-contractors.
Privatization would wipe out the rebates, bribery, clout, payola, under-the table deals, favoritism, special legislation, and who knows what else types of rake off's of the transportation industry.
Ralph Hertle
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You mistake my condemnation of public transit for its' subsidies for the more general transportation subsidy issue. Except for transit NYC like most other places not only collects but heavily overtaxes all other modes of transport including private transport such as air and taxi.

Agreed but PATH turns around and spends even more on transit.

This is also correct and a classic element of an OPAC (Obsolete Pre-Automotive City). Urban form preserved through coercive public policy with attendant corruption.

As I have mentioned many times the bridges funnel billions to NYCT.

There's the NYS budget (1999 in this case) for one: The City of New York The fiscal health of the State may also be affected by the fiscal health of New York City, which continues to receive significant financial assistance from the State. State aid contributes to the City's ability to balance its budget and meet its cash requirements. The State may also be affected by the ability of the City and certain entities issuing debt for the benefit of the City to market their securities successfully in the public credit markets. In response to the City's fiscal crisis in 1975, the State took action to assist the City in returning to fiscal stability. Among those actions, the State established the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York (NYC MAC) to provide financing assistance to the City; the New York State Financial Control Board (the Control Board) to oversee the City's financial affairs; and the Office of the State Deputy Comptroller for the City of New York (OSDC) to assist the Control Board in exercising its powers and responsibilities. A "control period" existed from 1975 to 1986, during which the City was subject to certain statutorily-prescribed fiscal controls.

Generic descriptor, nothing more. NYS and LA differ in urban form.

This is the inertia part I mentioned. There -used- to be a reason for the NYC urban form. No longer.
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wrote:

in
<snip>
phone
subject.
that
<snip>
No matter. It's the private Automobile that will be obsolete soon. Sell that parking 'investment' real quick.
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zenboom wrote:

And why is that?
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-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Free software - Baxter Codeworks www.baxcode.com -------------------------------------------------------------------------

that
$10/gal gas.
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Baxter wrote:

Free software - Baxter Codeworks www.baxcode.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------- "3D

$10/gallon gasoline might render the internal combustion engine obsolete. But cars? I doubt it.
Cars are such an integral part of life for most Americans (Manhattanites notwithstanding) that we'll sooner develop better ways of powering them than we would get rid of them altogether.
Well before gas hits $10 a gallon, you'll see an honest investment into alternative fuels and engines for private automobiles out of the US automotive industry. Japanese car makers have already started, and the gas-electric hybrids you see today are only the beginning.
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The only way the car will go away is if there is something far better to replace it. Maybe that will be the NASA Highway in the sky, but nobody really knows.
We all know that transit and especially rail has no chance of replacing cars because transit can not solve the problem of providing the absolute minimum capability required by the vast majority of commuters.
For rail to replace cars the minimum requirements are:
The train must be able to get some one from any door to any door in 30 minutes or less for a distance of around 10 to 20 miles. Time door to door for a typical go anywhere trip must include walking time or any other travel mode on both ends.
Further the 30 minute time must be met for the typical route where there is a transfer to another train to go roughly 90 degrees in a different direction to wait for another train and then make second transfer to a third train including waiting time to get near to your destination.
Assuming one train goes from near your door to near the other door happens only a small percentage of the trips for all commuters and is not allowable as a general solution for transportation.
We keep talking about trains being obsolete and no technology to solve the problem. That is exactly what is meant by needing a technology to satisfy the above criterion. If anyone has a solution that meets the above requirements then rail could come back.
The car solved the above requirement which is exactly why it made rail obsolete with no hope for any technology possible to bring back rail.
Further the car and road has advance far beyond the minimum requirements which means rail or other transits must be significantly more advanced than the car for the investment in bringing back rail to have any chance of capturing the market.
I eagerly await for a transit advocate showing us how transit can meet and far exceed the requirements demanded by travelers today, not in the 19th Century.
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cars
minimum
Baloney. On several different levels.
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The usual meaningless drivel we have come to expect.
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It
The "experts" who preach but hardly ever use mass transportation do not get to see the wastefulness like deadheads evident in any operation.
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Then why have we seen so many posts here about all their government-gift vehicles? And that is the case in many other jurisdictions.
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reason
soon.
(Manhattanites
them
into
the
will
get
In NYC, they are known as limousine liberals. The entire New York Times featured writing staff is of this religion. I wonder how the NYT thinks it is going to get to be able to charge for reading such stuff.
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I'd love it if Baxter turned it down to just meaningless drivel. I've come to expect vicious personal invective.
Jack is correct as his description is very much in line with well documented personal travel budgets and commute times.
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