on private cars in Manhattan

In today's The New York Times Magazine "The Ethicist" delivers the last word on behalf of New Yorkers who have just about had it with the assault of those infernal machines - and specificallly, the continuing outrage of on-street parking.

Two of my neighbors are in cahoots. When one pulls his car out of a spot, the other is always parked directly in front or behind and moves his car just enough to take up two spaces, so no other car can squeeze in. When the first car returns, the other moves back, restoring parking spots for both. Is it ethical for them to save spaces for each other, instead of leaving one for another parking-deprived New Yorker? Joseph A. Moskal, New York

If either of them were ethical, they wouldn't use private cars in Manhattan, a city with excellent public transportation. Why should the non-car-owning majority allow the car-owning minority to store their private property, i.e. cars, on public property at no charge? Why should my every walk to the store be akin to a stroll through a parking lot? Why should that majority be subject to the many costs and risks to health and safety attendant on the private car? I'm sorry: could you repeat the question?

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Published on July 27, 2003 1:32 AM.

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