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Web www.startsandfits.com
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Welcome to New York

New York's built environment is unique in the United States for being the only place in the country where a car is more trouble than it's worth, and where it's easier to get around without one. The transit-heavy infrastructure allows the feeding and continuing viability of what Kurt Vonnegut calls "Skyscraper National Park." Many people come to visit us because people like to see a place that's different than their own. And we're different because of that weird transportation inversion that makes walking useful and a car a burden.

This whole dialogue is pretty esoteric however, and a lot of the visitors probably fail to make the connection between the place they're coming to visit and the fact that's it is made possible by the fact that very few people drive. (As a percentage. Obviously, lots of people drive.) So there are also a certain number of people who express interest in coming to the city, and are warned by native New Yorkers: Do not drive there. Fly. Take the bus. Take the train. Anything else, but trust me, you do not want to drive. Probably some of those people ignore those warnings and drive anyway, thinking: Aww, how bad can it be? I drive everywhere else? It's not like I need a passport to get there.

So how bad can it be? My friend Gary Roth spotted a car with out-of-state plates (he wasn't sure but guessed Indiana) parked at a meter in front of his office on Fifth Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets. It has been parked there for a week. As you can see above, tickets are piling up (and there were others placed and since removed since Gary snapped this photo). We're talking at least $115 a day and interference with street cleaning operations. The driver of the car filed an apologetic written response, below. But apologies only go so far in New York. Especially for someone with out-of-state plates.

- Posted at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments: 0 | Post a Comment |  


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  • Lively neighborhoods.
  • Infill development.
  • Auto independence.
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