A fellow Manhattanite and car owner says that personal vehicles are a luxury and not entitled to parking spots
By G.R., West 95th Street
As I was reading J.B.'s letter in the August 21st edition ("The Never-Ending Fight for Parking"), I couldn't help notice he lives on E. 89th Street. This is close to the 4/5/6 subway, and an easy trip by subway down to Fulton Street or Wall Street both within the Financial District.
J.B. is part of the problem. Cars are not necessary in Manhattan. We have a great public transit system, that can get you anywhere in this city, usually faster than a car. The problem is that some people feel entitled to a car, and then to take and park said car wherever they may go. A car in Manhattan is a luxury. There are not many valid reasons for having one. In fact I can really only think of three: working outside Manhattan, having multiple small children, or a disabled person in the family are the ones that come to mind, but J.B. felt entitled to a space he should not have even needed, over someone who had a legitimate reason.
I will admit to having a car on Manhattan. I park it in a garage, and know if I do dare take it out to venture somewhere in Manhattan, I will not count on street parking, but will make sure I know where a garage is. However, I don't take it out to drive in Manhattan. I have two small children, and use it to go to their Grandma's house in NJ, or to Queens to go shopping, or for long trips. I keep it in a garage for two reasons. First, there are already too many people who have a car on the Upper West Side who shouldn't, and they take up most the on-street parking. On my days of work, I see groups working together to make sure they get a spot, after the street sweeper comes by. I often wonder how these people, who don't seem to have a job, afford to keep a car in Manhattan, and move it from side to side every morning, when people like me who work, could never do so.
Secondly, people park like idiots on the street. The gaps between cars are unnecessarily large, or cars bump against each other. This doesn't even factor in double parkers who block people in.
There are just too many people with cars in Manhattan that shouldn't have them, and think they are entitled to both having a car and finding convenient on-street parking near their home or destination in Manhattan.
Bottom line, a car in Manhattan is a luxury, if you can't afford to park it, you shouldn't have it; if you don't need it, you shouldn't have it.
Car shares like ZipCar, great mass transit options, and Citi Bikes make car ownership for Manhattanites mostly unnecessary. Therefore I feel J.B. is just part of the problem, and has no basis to complain.