...in the mouths of some of the city’s most advanced planners, “suburban” has become a slur. In a study titled “Suburbanizing the city,” they call on City Hall “to substantially reduce the amount of off-street parking being planned and built in the five boroughs,” by easing or repealing the rules that require developers to provide parking when they build new apartment buildings.
Still reeling from the defeat of congestion pricing, they have launched a counterattack in the hope of reducing car ownership.
Their argument is as insular as Manhattan itself. It fails to recognize or respect the millions of New Yorkers who have chosen to live more quietly than Manhattanites in communities far less dense. It imagines that everyone lives as Manhattan residents live — no more than a block or two (or at most three) from the nearest food market, dry cleaner, restaurant, pharmacy and bank.
Editorial comment: An end to the parking space?
“Suburbanizing the city” betrays its Manhattan-centered view of life in New York when it argues that “there is a good rationale to restrict parking in many neighborhoods — particularly close to subway stations,” as though the only reason a resident would need transportation is to get to the subway’s destination — Manhattan.
Illogically, “Suburbanizing the city” argues that zoning regulations shouldn’t require off-street parking because the Department of City Planning doesn’t know how much is needed...just because the city is ignorant of their neighborhood’s needs, it does not follow that their neighborhood has none.
The building boom here has caused a parking space crunch. In approving the new buildings thrusting their way into the landscape, the planning bureaucracy’s ignorance has led it to require too few off-street parking spaces, not too many.
Manhattanites find the proximity to theater and museums and shops stimulating and the constant bustle exciting. That’s fine, but it’s not the only way to live, and, indeed, part of New York City’s vitality derives from the diversity of its citizens’ modes of life.
The city also encourages the taking over of parking spaces for a day to convert them into "parks." (Ignore the loud traffic whizzing by you at full speed - let's play Connect Four at curbside!) This may be how they eventually get every resident within walking distance of a park since they ran out of space in which to create real ones. And certain nuts think that's acceptable.