New York City Wants More Cars and Trucks Off Its Streets, And It's a Huge Deal

New York City 6 photos
Photo: Andreas Kruck on Unsplash
New York City is not all that car-friendly, even at the best of times. But with a freshly installed new mayor full of vim and vigor forging his legacy in the Big Apple, it might be about to get even more unfriendly to the motor car than ever before.
CNBC News New York first reported that a study by the RAC, a nonprofit charity conducting research regarding mass-transportation policy, determined that personal cars in the NYC borough of Manhattan sit unused, unoccupied, and take up valuable city real estate up to 95 percent of the time. In a borough that sees more foot traffic per day than some parts of the world will see in a decade, it's surely not all that appetizing for people just trying to walk around.

As noted in said CNBC report, the gradual process of removing cars and trucks from the borough began in 2009 when a city ordinance banned parking in and around Manhattan's historic Broadway neighborhood. Now, public health advocates city-wide are calling for an overall reduction in the amount of land vehicles use in New York to be reduced by at least 25 percent by 2025, and likely even more as the years roll on.

If successful, it's hoped a concerted grand shift in urban design philosophy will lead to a natural increase in the amount of space for walking and cycling while simultaneously ameliorating the environment. A style in line with what European and Asian cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Tokyo have taken for granted for decades.

Like no other city, New York's relationship with automobiles has always been a love and hate affair. Despite a perpetually vibrant car culture among its locals, it's clear the love-hate pendulum is swinging firmly into the hate side of things. This is doubly true as debates on London-style congestion charges within the borough continue to be hashed out by city legislatures.

There's every chance this attitude changes as internal combustion makes way for all-electric everything. But as it stands, New York City's Manhattan borough could be on the cusp of its latest profound transformation. One that leads to future photographs being remarkably devoid of taxis, garbage trucks, and tour buses.
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