We propose the banning of all cars from Manhattan Island, except buses, small taxis, vehicles for essential services (doctor, police, sanitation, vans, etc.), and the trucking used in light industry.
The present situation is intolerable and all other proposed solutions of it are uneconomic, disruptive, unhealthy, nonurban or impractical.
And with those opening paragraphs, published in Dissent magazine, Paul and Percival Goodman set forth an urban vision and a prescription for the ills of Manhattan. This was in 1961–one of the headiest times in American car culture.
And the message was obviously ignored. Right?
The thesis of an upcoming documentary film, Paul Goodman Changed My Life, is that the ideas of Paul Goodman are still rippling quietly through our society, and now is the right time to amplify these ideas and give due credit.
JSL Films is giving away two bikes in a contest for people willing to write their local government (mayor, or city council) and submit with five ideas that could be implemented locally involving forms of transportation that reduce global warming. One bike will go to an North American winner, the other bike to a European winner (a Breezer and a Biomega, respectively).
Download the essay, Banning Cars From Manhattan – Percival and Paul Goodman (PDF)