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Thread: Manhattan NYC with no gas stations?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Manhattan NYC with no gas stations?

    NYC is facing a potentially crippling transportation and land use quandry - 'What if there are no gas stations in Manhattan?'. Apparently there are now only about 50 operating gas stations left in all of Manhattan, these to service the well over 800K vehicles that ply the island's streets every day, and that number is fast shrinking as the land that they sit on is put to uses that are more valuable in the real estate market.

    It is to the point where the city's planning department may be forced to invoke special protections for those that are left.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?nav=hcmodule
    (registration required)

    Interesting.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    New Jersey, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn are all five-minutes away. I don't see this as a huge problem. You see the same situation in Boston, London and other dense expensive cities. Gas stations simply cannot support the rent payments or land costs.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    As a Manhattanite who lives across the street from a gas station, I dream of the day when the island is free of the things.

    No cars would be a nice next step from there...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Yes, no gas stations sounds like some great traffic calming.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Seems like planners trying to preserve such a land use would be a waste of effort and time.

    The market is speaking, and in Manhattan, less potential for cars would be good.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    I don't know if regulations in the US allow fueling stations to be built into multi-story buildings... that is of course an option if it is deemed necessary to have gas stations on the island.

    Though with prices increasing one might finally see a decrease in discretionary traffic in Manhattan. Deliveries and public service vehicles will always be there, but many of them of their own fuel depots.

    The thing about Queens and NJ being only 5 mins away... that's without traffic on/in the bridges/tunnels. Having no fueling stations in Manhattan would require everyone to be better at planning ahead, and we know Americans generally aren't good at that.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by njm
    I don't know if regulations in the US allow fueling stations to be built into multi-story buildings... that is of course an option if it is deemed necessary to have gas stations on the island.

    Though with prices increasing one might finally see a decrease in discretionary traffic in Manhattan. Deliveries and public service vehicles will always be there, but many of them of their own fuel depots.

    The thing about Queens and NJ being only 5 mins away... that's without traffic on/in the bridges/tunnels.
    In Milwaukee I know of at least one gas station in a multi-story parking garage.

    As far as scarcity of gas stations, it doesn't seem to be a big deal. The market is working and people obviously buy their fuel elsewhere or won't pay enough of a premium on their fuel for the convenience.

    Quote Originally posted by njm
    Having no fueling stations in Manhattan would require everyone to be better at planning ahead, and we know Americans generally aren't good at that.
    Well if you compare everything to 'Rah-cha-cha', of course the states will look bad.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    50 gas stations in Manhattan is about 1 per half square mile. Doesn't seem too bad to me. Those 800,000 daily drivers can go buy a fricking hybrid or something, if they must have chariot conveyance through the polis.

    Running a gas station in Manhattan is a bit like having an ice sculpture festival in Phoenix in July.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  9. #9
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    As dobopoq said - seems like enough stations. I'm not sure that a quick jaunt thru the Lincoln tunnel into NJ for some petrol is necessarily an option, though...

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    As dobopoq said - seems like enough stations. I'm not sure that a quick jaunt thru the Lincoln tunnel into NJ for some petrol is necessarily an option, though...
    I was about to say the same thing. How many toll-free bridges and tunnels are there? Is it right to require folks to pay $4.00 in a bridge toll just to fill their tank?

    Remember, there are parts of Manhattan where owning a car isn't an overwhelming burden; mainly the far northern end. There's also a need for fueling services by taxis, car service drivers, delivery vehicles, and so on.

    Could building codes be reexamined? From what I understand, building codes prevent gas stations from being incorporated into larger buildings. Are gas stations in dense European cities all freestanding? If not, how have safety issues been addressed? Are exploding gas stations a problem?

    EDIT:




  11. #11
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by njm
    I don't know if regulations in the US allow fueling stations to be built into multi-story buildings...
    They certainly do in Massachusetts as there are a few examples. On Memorial Drive in Cambridge, there is a gas station that occupies the first floor of an apartment building/hotel.

    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    As dobopoq said - seems like enough stations. I'm not sure that a quick jaunt thru the Lincoln tunnel into NJ for some petrol is necessarily an option, though...
    Why not? It's much cheaper and the HAVE TO pump it for you. People in Philly, myself included, frequently crossed the Ben Franklin or Walt Whitman to get gas despite the tolls.

    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    How many toll-free bridges and tunnels are there?
    The Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queensborough Bridges are all free, as are a few of the connections to the Bronx.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Remember, there are parts of Manhattan where owning a car isn't an overwhelming burden; mainly the far northern end.
    Well then, for f*ck's sake, the government MUST do everything in its power to keep it that way!

    What kind of argument is that?
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Well then, for f*ck's sake, the government MUST do everything in its power to keep it that way!
    Remember, the American Way of Life is Not Negotiable (c) 2002 WCA, Ltd)*

    (WCA= War Criminals Administration, Ltd (as in limited liability, of course).

  14. #14
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    yeah, I know I've seen stations in high-rises in Europe. I'm curious where the station is in

    However, NY state has some crazy restrictive laws, and NYC goes even further (the fine for chaining your bike to a tree can be $1,000) In the context of post-terrorist/fear/panic/the-sky-is-falling America, I wouldn't be surprised if these if these were outlawed. Even if legal it'd probably be NIMBY'd to death...

    Quote Originally posted by iamme
    Well if you compare everything to 'Rah-cha-cha', of course the states will look bad.
    Rah-cha-cha is the worst of America. It's what happens when the power of the suburbs eclipses that of the city.

    Also to iamme: Which parking garage in Milwaukee (I grew up a shade NW of MKE)?
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally posted by njm
    yeah, I know I've seen stations in high-rises in Europe. I'm curious where the station is in

    However, NY state has some crazy restrictive laws, and NYC goes even further (the fine for chaining your bike to a tree can be $1,000) In the context of post-terrorist/fear/panic/the-sky-is-falling America, I wouldn't be surprised if these if these were outlawed. Even if legal it'd probably be NIMBY'd to death...

    Rah-cha-cha is the worst of America. It's what happens when the power of the suburbs eclipses that of the city.

    Also to iamme: Which parking garage in Milwaukee (I grew up a shade NW of MKE)?
    Off-topic:
    Is Rah Cha Cha Rochester, NY?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Frankly guys I'm quite alarmed about the idea of compromising building safety just to fit in a few more gas stations. It's really a sh!t idea. Would you want to live in an apartment knowing that a huge petrol bomb lies near your foundations, and should it explode, might effectively cut off escape routes downstairs (not to mention the danger of outright collapse)?

    Now, curbside stations with tanks otherwise NOT in the building are another thing, and seemingly a fine solution... but this is altogether very different from what has been bandied about in this thread previously.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by njm
    Also to iamme: Which parking garage in Milwaukee (I grew up a shade NW of MKE)?
    The Bank One parking garage on the corner of Clyborn and Water. The filling station was/is right on the corner. I remember getting gas there maybe 10 years ago but I haven't checked recently. I don't exactly drive around downtown looking for cool places to fill up.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    ONTOPIC: I hate the idea of having to provide fuel in Manhattan as much as anyone. In an area with such a high transit density, it'd seem ridiculous that people would drive. However, I can't judge everyone that easily. I, for example, am forced to drive all five days this week (which I haven't done since December) because I am working on a project that requires delivering environmental samples to a laboratory.

    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Is Rah Cha Cha Rochester, NY?
    Yes.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by njm
    ONTOPIC: I hate the idea of having to provide fuel in Manhattan as much as anyone. In an area with such a high transit density, it'd seem ridiculous that people would drive. However, I can't judge everyone that easily. I, for example, am forced to drive all five days this week (which I haven't done since December) because I am working on a project that requires delivering environmental samples to a laboratory.
    Yes, transit density and usage is very high in Manhattan (a good thing, IMHO), BUT (sorry, all of you urban utopianists) not every thing that has to move on the island can make use of it. Those things require vehicles that are independantly piloted and do require some source of energy for propulsion. I'm thinking of those umbiquitous and popular 'point-to-point' transit vehicles (taxicabs), delivery vehicles, etc. With no convenient fueling stations, they would not be able to operate and just as like during a power failure or transit strike, NYC would be in danger of grinding to a halt. The only other alternative would be to go back to using horses. (Yes, I know that hybrids are ideally suited for use on Manhattan's streets, BUT they still require an occassional petrol stop!)

    Remember that about 100 years ago, the internal-combustion engine car/truck was widely and universally hailed as the solution to the horrible urban pollution problem of the day, that being horse manure.

    BTW, I'm intregued by those Parisian curbside petrol pumps that Dan has in his posting. Could something like that work in Manhattan?

    Mike
    Last edited by mgk920; 09 May 2006 at 11:15 AM.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Now, curbside stations with tanks otherwise NOT in the building are another thing, and seemingly a fine solution... but this is altogether very different from what has been bandied about in this thread previously.
    One question I have is where do they put the the vent pipes for the tanks? Seems like anywhere they'd put them they'd end up waifing gas into somebody's window, unless they make them 100' tall.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    While the general lack of gas stations in the City has never bothered me (in fact, I kindof like not seeing them on every corner), I did notice last weekend that the gas station before going into the Lincoln tunnel was almost 20 cents more expensive than the one across the street (that you can't get to from this direction, of course), for those leaving the City. If that's not price gouging, I'm not sure what is!!
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    BTW, I'm intregued by those Parisian curbside petrol pumps that Dan has in his posting. Could something like that work in Manhattan?
    Those look as though they are in the outer residential/light commercial districts of the city. Midtown and Downtown Manhattan are much more dense and congested than most neighborhoods in Paris. I could see these working in the Village or Uptown, but not in the heart of the city where any and all curbspace is extremely valuable.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Yes, transit density and usage is very high in Manhattan (a good thing, IMHO), BUT (sorry, all of you urban utopianists) not every thing that has to move on the island can make use of it. Those things require vehicles that are independantly piloted and do require some source of energy for propulsion. I'm thinking of those umbiquitous and popular 'point-to-point' transit vehicles (taxicabs), delivery vehicles, etc. With no convenient fueling stations, they would not be able to operate and just as like during a power failure or transit strike, NYC would be in danger of grinding to a halt. The only other alternative would be to go back to using horses. (Yes, I know that hybrids are ideally suited for use on Manhattan's streets, BUT they still require an occassional petrol stop!)
    The last time I checked, UPS wasn't filling up its trucks at the local gas station. You argument about fleets is a little bit of a stretch, and even if they didn't fuel up centrally, there are hundreds of stations throughout NYC and more than 50 on Manhattan. The sky is not falling, the market is just at work.

    It seems that people are not willing to pay the extra costs associated with refueling in Manhattan and are quite happy with going elsewhere for their petrol. Otherwise we'd be hearing about the booming gas station construction wave sweeping the area, considering the article states that more than 800,000 vehicles enter the borough in a day.

    And besides, if they had horses, we'd be worrying about having enough hay stations.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Yes. When the last gas station on Manhattan closes all the trucks and taxis on the island will quit moving. If the market is going to dictate that anyone with a car in Manhattan has to pay a $4 toll to fill it up, I say go ahead and let it dictate that!

    And iamme is totally right. Most fleet vehicles aren't filling up at public gas stations. In fact, I know UPS has a distribution facility on the island but do FedEx and BHL? I'm betting that a significant number of delivery trucks in Manhattan go elsewhere to get their loads, which means that they're leaving the island every day anyhow.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by njm
    Also to iamme: Which parking garage in Milwaukee (I grew up a shade NW of MKE)?
    Quote Originally posted by iamme
    The Bank One parking garage on the corner of Clyborn and Water. The filling station was/is right on the corner. I remember getting gas there maybe 10 years ago but I haven't checked recently. I don't exactly drive around downtown looking for cool places to fill up.
    The gas station inside the Chase Bank (former Bank One, former Marine Bank) parking structure has been closed for several years now.

    There is only one gas station in Downtown Milwaukee these days, and even that is on the southern edge of Downtown. It's a free-standing Citgo at the corner of Plankinton and St. Paul.

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