Jonas_Venture_Sr t1_jbz1ubp wrote

Believe it or not, the personnel vehicle was essentially decided as the main method of transportation, because people were sick of dealing with the railroad oligarchs.

I think the US gets too much shit for its reliance on personal cars. If you were a middle income American in the early 20th century, the car would make too much sense not to adopt it. Today, we can clearly see the problems which that decision made, but at the time, it was a no brainer. If city overpopulation and climate change were not a thing, then the personal vehicle would have no criticism.


Jonas_Venture_Sr t1_jbyg38z wrote

This is so incorrect, it's wrong at almost every level. NYC was always a capitalist hellscape, it's quite literally the reason for its existence as a modern city. The singular point of this little Dutch colony was to make money, so capitalist needs trumped all others. When the English sailed its warships into the harbor, the city quickly capitulated, because it didn't matter who ran the city, as long as people made money.

Cities are a living and breathing expression of the needs of the time, and NYC is no different. NYC was exploding in growth at the turn of the 19th century, and the 1811 Commissioners map sought to rectify the housing shortage problem. New York is what it is because of the needs of the people before us. These "great cities" may look great today, but they had massive problems before the 20th century, and these problems contributed to our grid style streets. For example, a tax collector in 17th century London probably doesn't know every spot, so many Londoners don't get taxes and some get taxed twice or three times. The Grid makes it easy to conduct governmental business and commerce.

Look at how Paris changed their streets in the 19th century to address their problems of housing and societal control. Paris looks the way it does today because of the societal problems in France at that time. French troops needed to be able to get to any part of the city quickly to put down revolts, so Paris changed its infrastructure to do this. New York is no different, in that changed how it looked to address problems of the time.