Think transit blows? Love the freedom that a car provides? Too quirky or out-of-it to figure out how a subway map works? Despite those reasons, you still should not own a car. On top of that, the Washington Post and New York Times provides two very good reasons not to own a car (or at least not in DC and NYC).
The Post calls DC the wild west of traffic citations after an audit found that three city agencies “issued nearly 2.5 million parking and traffic tickets in fiscal [year] 2013” that totaled about $179 million. This for a city of nearly 650,000 – so nearly 4 tickets per resident per year. Of course, many residents don’t own cars. And many violators do deserve their parking tickets (can’t imagine why that federal employee would want to ticket him). But, really, this does not seem to be an appealing situation to own a car. A few reasons, all from the Post:
- From a senior District official: ” ‘One of the beauties of parking, it’s like the [Internal Revenue Service]. If you get a parking ticket, you are guilty until you have proven yourself innocent….And that’s worked well for us.’ “
- With regards to speed cameras: ” ‘The reality is that the District often issues speeding tickets without conclusive identification of the violating vehicle.’ “
Now, if those speeding cameras actually do something to reduce speeders and, in turn, result in fewer people killed or injured because they’re not, well, speeding, that’s great. The fact that they seem to just arbitrarily send tickets to any vehicle caught on camera…that just warms ratpag’s heart. Want to know a great way to not get a speeding ticket? Don’t drive! Option two, in most places, would be not to speed.
Our next story, in the Times, comes to us from New York City – home of the $1 million parking space. It should comes as no surprise that car ownership in NYC is difficult, at best, but wow – ratpag had no idea that it was this difficult. Of course, this is an extreme example – but also one that Manhattan brokerage firm CORE hopes to be the new “benchmark.”
The Times lists some fun facts about these parking spaces, soon to be located at 42 Crosby Street in SoHo:
- “At $250,000 a tire, the parking spaces in the underground garage cost more than four times the national median sales price for a home, which is $217,800, according to Zillow.”
- Per square-foot, the parking spaces (between “$5,000 to $6,666) will actually be more expensive than the very expensive apartments (around $3,200) sold in the building above.
Thinking you’ll just try your luck parking on the street? Cool – NYC has made paying the inevitable parking tickets easy – you can even pay in installments! What’re you getting me for Christmas, daddy? Daddy’s going to put the minimum 33% down on your 2-year, 9 percent interest parking ticket installment plan.
So instead of chipping in to the $179 million in traffic fines in DC or the $518 million in NYC (and many millions elsewhere), maybe just ride transit!