tv Lectures in History CSPAN September 2, 2016 9:18pm-10:35pm EDT
exploring the impact of cars on american cities and the second half of the 20th century. this includes the destruction of neighborhoods for new highways and a significant change in the character and structural density of downtowns to accommodate parking decks and surface slots. this class is an hour and ten minutes. >> i would like to start actually with the question, and i want a clearance from thank you all about which one of these things is best. think about it a second. which one. we've got a paper clip, a binder clip, and stapler. which one is best. osha, says which one is best? >> it's not that hard. which one is best? >> we have an intellectual in the room looking for somebody
with an answer, okay? which one is best, david? >> well, you're wrong. >> the stapler is not best. jack, which one is best? >> i like -- >> wrong again. it is the -- the right answer is the binder clip. the binder clip is in my opinion the best. all right? i will admit if i had a 100 page document to fasten, the bientder clip would be best, stapler is not going to do the job very well. on the other hand, if i want to fasten a receipt to a note, maybe i need the paper clip. in effect, i think i'm coming around to osha's answer. depends on what we're talking about here.
>> the rest are perhaps not obsolete. after all, the author is a cyclist, but no comparison to these things. i would guess if i have to reduce my claim to a thesis it's that, wrong, turns out each one of these things has its place and more, and you guys are coming up with more stuff all the time. electric bicycles, for example. or high bus rapid transit, which we have dedicated bus lanes for buses to go faster. all kinds of things are possible, and depending on what you need, you may want to take one of these other modes.
i would suggest the people who say this is always best are the same people who if we could ever see them trying to fasten together 100 page document, we would probably be banging this with a hammer. it doesn't make sense. it's wasteful. it's inefficient. it breaks the stapler. it doesn't do the report any good. it doesn't fasten the document, and it plishz nothing. i would suggest that there are situations in which we in this country in trying to accommodate the automobile are doing essentially the same thing i'm going to recommend that you try something sometime. maybe you've already done this. go to google satellite view. everybody has something on the web that kills their spare time or even kills time that isn't spare time. for me google satellite view is a major culprit in that regard. if you go there, take a look around american cities. this is houston. i admit it's not a totally randomly chosen shot.
nevertheless, i find it striking. i actually wonder what are these people parking for? to go to another parking space? i mean, there's nothing else to go to. there is a building in the top left-hand corner. maybe they're all going there. that's a lot of parking. think about parking for a second. it's land, right? think about the thing that is most distinctly valuable in a city. it's land. what's scarce in a city. city by definition is a place of density. right? if density is what we're talking about, then land is scarce. why don't we put a car on every 100 square feet of land in a city and this is what you'll get. i wonder if this isn't, like, trying to fasten a 200 page report with a stapler and a hammer. right? this is houston as well.
>> you'll see we have a lot of surface parking. maybe half of this is surface parking lots. strange thing to do with a city. there is tyson's corner. i think you are probably akwabted with this. this is potomac mills. here we have atlanta. not only do we see cars parked off the street everywhere, but we have major interstate highways accommodating cars at extraordinary expense. this is like taking your swing line stapler and your 200 page report and getting a sledgehammer to force that staple through. at least that's one way of possibly looking at this, right? our assigned reading for today says to the contrary. this is something we accommodate. the automobile is something we accommodate because it is so valuable to our economy, to our
society, to the freedom of its residents. it's worth it. he is not saying, you know -- it's not costly in some senses. it is costly, but he is saying but it's worth it. for example, look at the economic benefit. all right? more jobs. more income for people. i, of course, being a good skeptical reader look for the data myself, and if you look, you'll see cars and trucks in the u.s. increasing in numbers from 1960 on the left to 2010 on the right, and you can loosely correlate that to gdp. the curves are not the same, but they're both going up, okay? maybe u.s. gdp growth from 1960 to 2010 is attributable in large part to the growth of cars and trucks. at least that's possible.
it may be the growth of u.s. gdp explains the growth in the number of cars and trucks. i'll let you decide which is more plausible. all right? so that's one way to look at it. also, our author for today also contends that the car has social value that's not economically obvious. i think it's helpful to check. check your sources. if if we go back and look, i
think feminists would agree that these three women were monumentally important. at least the first two were. on the left jane jacobs, a -- one of the leading lights in city planning. you cannot get through your first year of city planning school without reading jane jacobs life and death of great american cities. all right? we also have here maybe somebody recognizes betty freidan, author of the feminist mystique. that's the most important book, most people would say of second wave feminism published in 1963.
jay jacobs was a defender of urban density and said cities are dense places. we don't need to suburbanize everything. what makes cities thrive is pedestrians. what makes cities thrive is density. if we try to make a suburb out of the city we ruin all of that. that's what made death and life of great american cities the single most significant work in american city planning. most city planners would agree that's true. feminine mist even, she's writing in 1963 the housewife isolated in the suburbs while her husband goes to work is in an -- this was a controversial analogy. she called it a comfortable concentration camp. right? she felt unfree in the suburbs. now, of course, one response is, well, she should get a car, right? now we're talking about not only a world where every adult has a car instead of every home, but also a world that was
unrealistic in 19d 63 when she wrote the book. o'tool says the car gave us better social equity, but how could it argue this when it was not economically possible for most couples to have two cars? all right? in an age when men were expected to be the breadwinner, he takes the car, and she's left alone. betty was not a fan of the car as a tool of women's liberation. although i doubt anyone has ever heard of her, but if you are from nova or d.c., you should. you all know about i-95 i'm sure. from the late 1950s to the early 1960s when the designer was designing the public roads in the department of commerce, i-95 was not supposed to go around
washington on the beltway. it was supposed to go right through it uninterrupted right through washington d.c. >> what's more significant is we have all heard of the interstate highway system. something else you might not know about it is this. on the book it was supposed to be -- it never got there because of the violent -- i shouldn't use the word violent. the viehement opposition to it in america's cities.
some were built. the opposition spread, and they had to give up building the segments in the highway system. in that movement many -- i don't have the numbers, but probably most of the active leaders were women. these pictures, while they don't prove it, give it a taste for that connection that women saw urban interstates as dangerous. remember jane jacobs. the planners of her day, which included the highway engineers, she saw as people who were ravaging the cities. helen levitt put it this way.
it was a mixed story at best, and the same could be said about the role of the automobile and the american city from the point of view of african-americans. overtown were nicknamed the over -- the residences were all black. it was a thriving community. i want to show you an old picture because this is over town in the mid 60s. there's nothing left. acres in every direction has been totally destroyed to make room for the southern end of interstate 95. this does not to me make a case for the interstate highways or cars in general having been a tool of civil rights. it is definitely true that
without the car they could not have successfully organized the montgomery bus boycott of 1945. clearly, the story is more complicated than that. overtown is a case in point. you could look at almost any american city and reach the same conclusion. this is a sign that was carried around in the protests against these projects in american cities in the 1960s. not many people know about the aspect of it. here is detroit. loeft here we see a neighborhood called paradise valley. like overtown. virtually 100% black. 100% black-owned businesses. yet, when this picture was taken in 1964, it was already mostly gone. this was a city block left to right. up and down. it's making room for i-75.
the chrysler freeway in detroit totally destroyed paradise valley. the little bit of it that was left was unsustainable and quickly decayed. let me share an observation that might be interesting. i notice a lot of people have heard about the riots of the 1960s. there was a riot in detroit in 1967 that was the worst riot in the 20th century until the 1994 los angeles riots. 40 to 50 people were killed. it lasted several days. what people don't seem to know is that it happened almost immediately after this happened.
i haven't proved a kikds, but i think when you destroy a neighborhood and its contents, don't be surprised if you encounter some trouble after that. i'm not at all persuaded that we can see the automobile as the key to civil rights the way our author for today portraits it. there's another group that belongs in any discussion about the social aspects of this, and here's where i'm going to bring in an englishman. this guy is name is william bird. he is a medical doctor in britain, and he was interested in declining independent mobility among children in
britain. he has said that physical and mental health in children correlates strongly with their activity level and especially with their mobility. can they go on their own outside to play and can they go very far? he has a great deal of data to show declining mobility, and it correlates to declining mobility in america. is this simple little study of one family. four generations. these are four generations. edward's mother is vickie. vickie's mother is jack. jack ae father is -- i think his father is jack. jack's father is george. all right. those years are the years when those people were 8 years old. one of the many data points we
could ask them to plot a map their home and the farthest place they could go to unescorted as an unaccompanied 8-year-old. he found that george could go six miles and did. he liked to go. jack was only going a mile. that was twice as much azzi who went half a mile in 1979. to me the clincher is 2007 edward is going 300 yards maximum unescorted as an 8-year-old. 300 yards. that's a major decline, as can you see. now, this is one family. it's a sample size of one or four depending on how you look at it. i'm not making any pretenses that this is conclusive data. i am claiming, however, that this is not at all atypical of a trend that you find both in britain and in the united sta s
states. >> can you think of one? >> i would say the development of neighborhoods. the more densely -- houses are more densely situated now. >> houses are more densely situated now, so why would that make -- so it's not as far to walk because -- okay. that sounds plausible. how about another possibility here? wade. >> just safety. >> explain. >> the chances of edward being hit by a car is far greater than joe. >> very true. now, i want to point out, this is britain. even in 1926 george would have been in danger of being hit by a car in america, but in britain
cars were rare in 1926. his danger of being hit by a car was not high. all right? but you can see that that changed. jack, you know, his parents are concerned, and rightly so about him getting hit by a car. i want to point out, by the way, that as a parent i'm not advocating anybody let their 8-year-old walk sixing miles away from home unescorted. i i this that's nuts. all right? this is not an attempt to defend that, but it is a claim that perhaps this is gone a little too far because 300 yards, well, that's -- we practically disabled our own children when they can't go more than 300 yards. there's safety including traffic safety, also fear of strangers or ab ducks or attacks of various kinds. there's more, and it has to do with the geography. herbert mentioned a geographic point. let me offer a geographic point. this is street plan or an aerial view of a typical american subdivision of the late 20th
early 21st century. i think you can see that if, for example, you lived on the cul-de-sac on the far right and you were 8 years old and you wanted to walk to a friend's house on the next street over while you might be able to get there directly by trespassing, if you weren't going to trespass, you would have a very long way to walk. if you had an old-fashioned street grid, you would have a much shorter walk. all right? and, therefore, although the point is why people walked longer distances, yes, it's a longer distance here, but turns out you're going to be less likely to walk at all if you have to walk that far to get to a close-by house. right? this is a street plan that actually makes a lot of sense from a driver's point of view because the intersections are much rarer than they are in a grid, and you know as a driver that intersections are where all the delays happen, so if you have fewer intersections, you have fewer delays, better for
drivers. if you are walking, a little different. i don't want to say it's all one-sided. the cul-de-sacs are kind of nice if your 8-year-old friend lives on the ear side of the cul-de-sac. if your 8-year-old friend lives on another cul-de-sac, you might be in trouble. i think this pour trays it a little more fairly. if this child walked to school they would have to take a round-about way or trespass. let's face it, a lot of kids trespass. i certainly did as a kid myself. with a grid maybe you wouldn't have to to walk to work. this graph reminds me. it belonged to one of these facebook groups that you'll all join when you are getting nostalgic for the old days too. so this one is about montgomery county in the old days, and some
kids were remembering something they called the black path. now, what's going on here is they're showing in the red line here paths that did not exist on any map that nobody -- you got a certain amount of steps because they were a little creepy and scary. it's their lifeline for the rest of the world. ourle-year-old has made it out of the residential subdivision. now, i hope no parent ever lets their 8-year-old kid to this unescorted or to this one because if you learned anything
from sts 4500 you learn to look at different social groups. from a different point of view from a driver this in ashworth, peculiar north carolina is wonderful, but for a pedestrian, especially a young one or frail one, this is an inpenetratable barrier to mobility. i ask when you hear about mobility, ask mobility for whom? on the left or in both of these we see high mobility for drivers. we see something close to zero mobility for any child or disabled person or perhaps old person who wants to cross this street. all right? not only she we talk about the women's movement and civil rights. i think we should talk about children too when we talk about mobility. i want to recognize another thesis. it's not one that o'tool explicitly referenced. i think you would be sympathetic
to it. it's one that we have to reckon with because it is probably the most common explanation for why america accommodates cars even in dense cities at almost any expense. i'm not persuaded by it, but we need to recognize this thesis. at the top here we see a google search bar. this is a real google search bar that i just did a screen shot of. at america's l.o. we see auto complete kicking in. this means america's lost treasures. however, when i add a v, says i knew before the first time i tried it what would pop up. maybe you have heard of this too. the reason i'm using this google example is that auto complete is pretty good at telling us about what is popular out there. this is a popular explanation. so what do you think is going to happen if we add a v? who fields like they know the answer? adam.
>> i've heard america's love affair with automobile. >> you got it. america's love affair with the automobile. sometime somebody needs to explain to me america's lover boys. i don't know what that is. america's love affair with the automobile is probably the single most common thesis to explain the extraordinary extent to which the united states has accommodated automobiles wherever they go, including dense cities. it's a thesis with a history, and it's a very significant history, and i hope time will permit me to touch on what that history is, but, first, i need to go a slightly different direction. if we look around in the media we see this thesis everywhere. notice, in all of these headlines we see love affair. love affair. love affair. where -- why is this so ubiquitous? it's incredible.
right? this thesis is just about everywhere. it has a history which, as you all know, google end gram say good first step towards uncovering. i checked this little bump here is just noise. as we move to the right, you see that it has a fairly steep take-off beginning circa 1959, 1960, and hits a high in the 1970s. it appears to plateau there. if we add america's love affair with the car, if you added the red bar to the blue bar, i think you would see that the growth actually continues right up to the present, although not as steep as it did in the 1960s. this thesis is everywhere and it's used kbi both the critics and the defense of the automobile. america's love affair with the automobile is not a very scholarly sounding explanation. i think you can see what kind of explanation would be in a more
scholarly cost, right? >> we are talking about vehicular societies. we're not now talking about -- we're not talking about individuals or -- or even really social psychology. we're talking about a culture -- asha. it's anthropology here, folks. now, when you hear the phrase america's love affair, we see those headlines, anthropology is
not being deployed explicitly. it's a cultural explanation, and as a cultural explanation, it's implicitly an an thropological explanation. as an anthropological explanation, as any soberologist would tell you, most people would like to have a status symbol of practical value like the car all over the world, right, so illustration. some of you might recognize this as rush hour in beijing in the 1970s. all right? this is rush hour in beijing in the 1970s. this means that in the 1970s you might plausibly be able to say that cars are an american thing, right? amazing that as late as 1960, 70% of all the cars in the world -- wrap your mind. 70% of all the cars in the world were in the united states. right? this is totally different. here's shanghai, rush hour now.
all right? i think we could say there's a chinese love affair with the car too, and if we kept going around the world, eventually we would conclude that everybody loves a car once they can afford one. that's -- it's not really a distinctly american thing. it's i think a socialologiologid have more to say. there's an explanation for the car. this report typed up in 1974 by bradford snell offered another explanation for particularly the american city accommodating cars. it's not an explanation that is widely held in scholarly circles and more, but it's widely known. bradford snell contended that general motors, ford, and chrysler really subverted urban transportation. first of all, they agreed to cooperate with each other. that is not to compete the way you're supposed to in a free
market. then once they did that together with other automotive interest rooits groups they combined together to subvert competitors to automobiles. specifically general motors, firestone tire and rubber, and standard oil founded a holding company called national city lines and they really did this and national city lines really bought up electric street railways in several cities in america and once it owned them, it then scrapped them and had them replaced with general motors buses on which were riding on firestone tires and burning standard oil fuel, and all of this is true and, in fact, there was an anti-trust lawsuit filed against the conspirators here, and they were found guilty of one count of conspiracy against competition, fined, but where this falls short as an explanation is that by the time national city lines
bought up electric street railways, it got them on the cheap because they were already mostly bankrupt or in trouble. losing money in the red. the question has to be how did they end up in up in such bad shape before these groups got together rather than explaining it all as bradford stale did with this case. if you think of a research paper, this is a couple of sentences in literature which dispense of that particular argument. there is another explanation for the automotive city. i think it is one that is close to endorsing. the automobile predominantes in america is pretty much
everywhere because of free market choice. vhs beats beta in audio tapes. people would say oh, beta is better. they should not make chs illegal. we are supposed to let the market decide. they say by the same toke kn, y may not like cars everywhere and they're not a great fit but the market has spoke and people in driving the market preference over other motive of transportations, deal with it. the essential to the argument is the claim that people who drive pay for the cost of their driving through -- you know how they pay for the cost of their driving, theoretically? sorry? >> charles? >> they pay ultimately through taxes because there is gas taxes
and registration fees. >> right, these costs, a lot of them and most of them end up being spent on roads and therefore, there is a connection. when you drive, you have to buy fuel, when you buy fuel, you have to pay gas taxes and you are making a market to seniors and when you buy a certain brand in the store, you are making a free decision in a marketplace. it is controversial the extent to which drivers pay for the cost of the infrastructure that they use. i chose these two reports of representing opposite polls of the extreme. on the left, we have a report by ruban who says yeah, the answer is mostly yes. although in 28 states, you pay some what less than the cost you impose, essentially the cost you impose or even a little more in some cases and nationally,
that's the federal high rate ex p expenditures. this on the right, the public interest research group contends that you don't come anywhere close to paying the cost. i am going to say you don't have to worry about this debate because there is plenty more reasons for not accepting the claim, that there is a free market for the motive transportation that you choose. i don't think we are anywhere close to have a free market for the mode of transportations you choose. it is based on an assumption and i think i am being fair when i articulate the assumption this way. i think this is the assumption
fairly articulated. who could see the flaw? yes? >> i think maybe that's maybe true in some cases. when you take a look at people living in -- >> all right, a lot of the times if you drive because it is not you chose out of a sort of display cabinets of alternatives like you would have in the store because there was no choice, you had to just do it. i can give you antidotal support for his answer. given a choice, i can drive less, and i do have a choice, i can ride my bike to work. i don't like to pass me a foot or two away from me. it scares me, all right?
it scares me a lot, enough to not make me want to do it if they had an ample place to ride. i admit it, i am a coward. i have been honked at for riding on the edge of the road. it is unnerving to me, you know? i just do not like that and therefore i drive. when i drive, i pay gas taxes for driving. when those gas taxes are used to claim w claim -- well, this shows your free markets for free driving. i object. it was not a free market, somebody was threatening to kill me from behind, that's not free. i disagree with this. i am not alone, economist like,
michelle white, agreed. when somebody drives, they actually hate driving, they're doing it because of a number of factors constraining their choices. this illustration i think further underminds the claim we have a free market for transportation. some of you recognize the springfield exchange in nova. we have two direction roads. your cost for accessing these is interesting to consider when you compare it against the cost of supplying infrastructure. i don't have to persuade you that the cost of supplying to springfield interchange is probably several orders of magnitude or few orders of magnitude or greater than the cost of providing the two lane road. here is your cost of acce acces the two lanes road. you will pay 35 cents for gas
tax and federal sales. here is your cost for using the springfield interchange. all right, the same, now don't get me wrong, i am not saying that this means that in effect -- that we can compare it easily. for example, you will see many more lanes of traffic on i-t 5. th i-95. that means more people can pay more money. in the end that everybody has to admit that we don't have any idea or clear connection of what people are paying or what they are getting the way you do when you go to a store so much for free market. but, that's not all, everyone of the car using the lanes are 995 here is going to have to find a place to park. if they park on their own drive way at home or if they live in an apartment and parking in a
designated garage apartment complex, you are probably directly pay paragraing for you parking. if you get to work and you park for free, or if you get to a store and park for free, that's not to say that the space you are parking in is free. it is land. it is not free. show me freeland, i want it. it means that somebody paid for it, it is just not the person who parked on it. what do an economist calls it when somebody else pays for the cost incurred by someone? if you are the beneficiary, you are the beneficiary of a? >> a free ride. >> it is called subsidy for parking. if you subsidize parking, you subsidize driving. there is no such thing of driving if you cannot park.
i want to think about it. driving but never parking. it sounds to me like a nightmare or some sort of distopian-hellish fantasy world. >> if you subsidize driving then you don't have a free market for driving anymore. i want to try an analogy on you and depending on having some basic acquaintance with these two ways of dealing sewage from home. on the right, we have a set of drain field and this is going to be privately owned by the homeowner, the homeowner pays for it and maintains it and it is on the homeowner's property and it takes care of those hostile wastes, right? >> sewage and great water and brown water. on the left, we have a shared sewer system, probably owned by
a local government, a county or municipal authority. we have a quite different system. the homeowner does not own anything and the homeowner does not have anything to worry about once it crosses the line of their property, it is not their problem anymore, okay? maybe y'all remember the first question that i asked you. what's better, i am going to ask you the same question over here. what is better, privately owned or shared property publicly owned sewer system? >> i would say the sewer system is better because less maintenance for homeowner. >> it is nathan, right? >> yes. >> of course, the sewer system is better if you can get it. right? if you can get it.
if you are going to get a sewer system in a rural area is not going to be better because you have to pay huge amounts of money in form of taxes to have that kind of sewer system because it would be prohibitedly expensive to equip you with it. so we are back to staplers and paper clips and depending on what you are using it for. i want you to imagine if to a value -- everybody should have their own tank and drain field no matter what it takes and even in a big city and even in manhattan. you should have privately owned septic tank and drained field, each home and each individual residence having their own field and not mixing our waste
together. what if you said that? how would you make such a septic system tank work? i put it to you that it can theoretically be done, in fact, there is been a proposal for ways to do it. i get ahead of myself, how would you make a septic tank work in a dense city? you guys are engineers, i know you can think of this soluti solution -- it is not real hard. what do you say? septic tank and drain field in
manhattan, how are you going to do it? >> you have to find a way to make the system smaller in order to continue deeper, i guess? >> you can try to dig a mind shaft below the crust of the earth and dump it all in there. i think that's a feasible alternative? charles? >> try on the roof? >> you can put it on the roof, one roof is not enough area. what do you do? you don't give up, do you? >> james? be hard to live between two drain fields. here is a real proposal. that is a septic tower, each one of those levels is a drain field intersperse its air which you would need to have for the septic system to work, you can put it in a city and next to an apartment house and every
resident can have their own drained field. the tower has to be bigger than the apartment house. you will need pumps to get it up there and you definitely need pumps to get it up there but you can do it theoretically. i want to point out while this is an actual patent, a real patent for a real septic power, it did not succeed. if you look at this patent up, you will see why because they stop paying their fees from bottom to top. it is now expired and anybody who wants to can file a new patent for a new septic power. anybody in this room. you may say -- huh, why would i do that? i put it to you that this country has shown how you can make that work. what would it take to make septic towers or alternatively massive open septic fields and cities.
it could be city parks that nobody would go to. how could you make it happen? charles? >> if you would increase the cost of this sewer system to the point where this became a cheaper alternative. >> you can increase the cost of the sewer system, right? accidentally, this is not an analogy, i am not interested sewer system here. what's an urban transportation of equivalent to a shared public sewer system? swu someone? >> yes. >> subway. >> yes, some kind of shared subway system, metro, buses and streetcars or light rail. you name it, whatever it is. where it is scarce. if that's not an alternative, you force people into cars and then you have to find a place to put all the cars since we have
parking garages in cities and you have cities where blocks after blocks with parking garages. you can make this happen, not so much -- you don't have to hobble transit to make it happen. you can also subsidize the parking garages or the septic tank towers and you can require them by law. do you guys know that if you open a business commercial enterprise or a retail store in a town or city or america, you almost certainly will have to provide a minimum number of off street parking spaces. zoning codes are almost universal. there are exceptions but there are also universal. zoning codes specify that if you open a retail business or commercial enterprise or industry, you have to provide a certain number of parking spaces for each square foot of four
space in your business. they're not saying oh, we think you are the own other of the business should judge. you don't want people to have no place to park. we'll let you decide. we'll tell you how many you have to provide, all right? here is what happens. these parking spaces are mandated by local ordinances that requires you to provide x number of spaces per unit floor space at a retail business. this became common in the middle of the 20th century. the fact they are all full suggests they may have the numbers right. very often these spaces are not full. look at how much space, see the ratio on the right. the church hall in west sacramento, california, the top one supplies 16 times more area
in parking than it supplies force place on a church. on the bottom, we have retail businesses that supplies one or two times more parking space area than floor space area. did you hear me? you have to supply more parking space area than floor space area, that's a little weird, don't you think? >> maybe as weird as opening up an apartment house, you have to provide all the area for urban septic towers or septic fields. economists have fits over any of these kinds of rules. i don't think it will surprise you to hear that. economists tend to think that the market handles most things reasonably well left to itself, not everything. parking spaces could be solved by a marketplace. you will be a fool to open a business and not offer parkings
parkings -- at all. these authors, come to a conclusion about them. in effect, they are subsidies for driving. perhaps, more vivid position is taken by donald schoop of ucla. why are there fertility drugs for cars? because they make it artificially cheap to drive. think about how to go into a city like richmond or washington if you are confident you will be able to find a parking space. if you have that confident, you will drive and if you don't, take the metro or something like that. this is what money parking lot looks like in practice. notice the parking lot here is, i don't know, two or three times bigger than the floor area of retail business there.
this is short pumps. some of you know this west of richmond. if parking is subsidized and driving is subsidized, that does not answer the contention that transit is subsidized. but, to say that -- i want you to think about a line of reasoning here, pay close attention to this. the claim is that if fairs from passengers don't cover the expense of transit service, therefore, it is subsidized. in other words, the people benefiting from the service are the people riding it. if they are paying less than the cost of providing it, they're getting the subsidy. i would like to suggest you that at least positively, the riders of a transit system especially
in a dense city are not the only ones benefiting, in fact, everyone who drives is benefiting from transit ridership. do you see how that would work? nathan? if you are riding the bus or streetcar or whatever it is, you are not on the road and the road is less congested. that's what makes this cartoon makes sense is drivers are wishing other drivers are on the bus. i don't think it is a stretch to say that these drivers would be happy to have five or ten or 20% of their gas tax goes to transit. this is not going to be true everywhere but it is going to be true where there is a lot of traffic in dense cities. i don't think you can say that just because transit costs more than the riders paying in fares that it is subsidized because
the benefit is extending to a lot of people as well. do you see what i mean? all right, here is a little bit elementary economic, i think this will be easy for all of you. what happens when the value of a product or service is under valued? i should put it differently like this. what happens when the cost that we pay is less than the value that we get? it is a predictable economic reaction? >> adam? >> you all know this, right? if a storekeeper did not charge enough for candy bars, they run out of candy bars so they'll charge more of candy bars as a result.
well, you you can see this kind of thing happening in traffic when you have congested traffic. economists is likely to say that this is simply the user of the road are not ps this is simply the user of the road are not p are not paying t of this and hence there is a shortage of road capacity. it is another way of saying congestion. congestion ace serious problem in america, particularly, in the dc area, right? here we see people who are in effect saying this road is so cheap, i don't mind going a mile on it. there is ways you can make road capacity in something resembling a market. i am not saying a real market by any stretch of imagination but it is a lot closer. we see singapore and road pricing scheme.
if the roads are congested, you are charged more because just like the shopkeepers are going to charge more if they cannot keep the things stopped. if they are not congested, you charge less. these systems making it free sometimes like in the middle of the night, for example. >> at the bottom, you see the lining. singapore did this in 1975. it was not electronic then but it was feasible through quite a lot of human labored. now, there are a lot of cities that have done this now. this is a mostly complete list. although we have some things resembling congestion charges in the united states like hot links, for example, we don't have a full blown congestion charging scheme where entering the part of the city no matter where you come from, you are going to pay something. this was proposed in new york
city would be ideally suited for. it is just bridges and tunnel, right? in fact, the people of new york city approved this which tells you some things important about people recognizing the values of cars but seeing the limits of them. san francisco is considering it right now but there is no congestion charging type anywhere in american cities. what it does is it solves congestion by making people pay for what they are getting. the federal highway for the federal level and most of this
is state level stuff. the vast majority of the roads are state level affairs. they essentially plan what we get and how we get it. in this sense, i would say it is not a stretch to say that it is an analogous to a -- soviet union planned its economy and they figured out what to charge for things and they tried to charge less for things they thought people wanted like bread which there was always a short supply and under valued. i remember seeing items children in the soviet union who could not find a football in the store because there were shortages and using russian bread loaf instead.
as the solution is to not charge you to get on the road. the solution is to have a bunch of experts rank roads using green book. the green book is sort of transportation engineers and analog to physiatrists. one thing to do is guarantee a certain level of service, what's the level of service? well, here it is. level of service, no delays. level of service f, you have no idea when you get to your destination. so if you have level service of c or d, then you have to increase roads capacity because you cannot increase the charge. with few exceptions like toll
roads, for example, you cannot increase the charge. so instead you increase the supply. i want to try a quick analogy on you. supposing target decided, lost everybody's credit card numbers and lets improve public relations a little bit, lets simplify check out and charge customers by the pound for our merchandise, not have this like different prices for different things and stuff, right? think about where you would go when you got to target on the first day of charge by the pound, where would you go? i would like to bring i in -- michael, where would you go? >> charge by the pound. >> probably the movies or video
gam games. >> one little program consul. >> jewelry. >> yeah, sharp, i was not thinking about that. that's probably the best place to go and electronics is good. >> a student suggested pillows, i didn't get that in the first place. you get really lightweight so you can get a lot of them. that would get i mpractical if you are loading up your car. jewelry and electronics, the high values stuff. if target handling the shortage by saying keep the supply truck coming, people are buying this stuff faster than we get. you would not really solve the problem. you would have people going more and more -- >> i would to know is that a micro sd card is worth more than it is weighted in gold by a significant multipler. >> wow, i don't even know what a
micro sd card is. >> it is an sd card that you put in a camera. >> now, you know where to go when target announces we charge by the pound, go for the micro sd card. this is what we are doing here. instead of -- charge tg right price when we get to the level of service c, d, or f, building more capacity, that's how we get those highway projects and also how they are never solving the problem because they continue to charge. it is not that hard. if we are talking about service, we are talking about giving team people something they want. we are not talking about people really in general. we are talking about certain people who benefit from this. because most of us fall in to this category, some of the time
they may seem extract getting annoyed with this. if you think of an economist, you can recognize the problem here. consider this interchange or intersection where they are doubling the width of both the north south and east width roads here to get this up to a level of service here up to a level of service a. now, they'll be back with the same problem again in another 20 years, they'll have to double it again. for now, putting in a great separated energy. for now, they'll be getting some level service a out of this. but, its level of service for drivers, and if you think they're the only people concerned, recognize again that a lot of people who are driving would actually rather be doing something else, i was one of those, do you remember the that? maybe we would be if we can actually cross this street, look at the lower left quadrant. residential subdivision is probably going to go in there
and we got a retail business going across the street even though it is a couple hundred yards from the nearest house to that business. you know that person is going to drive because crossing that street is going to be a hassle. it maybe putting in a good crosswalk or signal, it is going to be unpleasant. you have to go to the crosswalk, there is not a lot of crosswalk. if you go to the store a couple hundreds yards away, you have to drive. we don't have level of service for travelers of all kinds. we have level of service for drivers and we are back in the world where we don't know what people prefer. ashtew also has this mechanism. they don't have a marketplace. one is level of service and another is called functional
classification where they classify roads. that's where you can get to individual stores and houses. at the top you have mobility. and this is why on interstate highway, for example, you don't have drive ways and the intersection, the exits are relatively rare. in between, we have collectors. i want you to consider something. the access is for drivers and the mobility is for drivers. this does not have to be that way. consider what'll happen if you change access and monbility. what if we said we can change modes. for high access, lets favor high access modes like bus and pedestrians. if we want high mobility, why don't we favor those high mob
mobility things instead. even high access, we define as high access for cars, right? i can illustrate this nicely if we look at mobility. is this mobility for pedestrians having to cross in the middle of the street? it is not mobility for them. mobility on this road is high if you are driving. this is austel road in marietta, georgia. if you are a pedestrian or a bus driver, you are in trouble. >> raquel nelson took the bus on austel road and got close to her house. the blue is the bus stop, she's with her three children coming home from the shopping mall. there is no crosswalk anywhere incite.
you can see where her home is. she's not going to walk three children with hundreds of yards away. instead, she crosses. her son, aj, carrying a plastic bag with a goldfish is struck and killed by a drunk driver. the drunk driver is arrested but so is raquel nelson, the mother, for negligent homicide. she ends up paying a $200 fine jaywalking and the charges is reduced. she's paying $200 for an event that killed her son. this is not mobility for her. its plain access for cars, too. i am going to conclude this analogy. american association state highway and transportation officials, what if instead we have an organization the american organization state septic tank officials, look at
what would happen if we did this to detroit. we would have orange multi story septic towers. this map is real. i made up the bid about septic but look at what it really is. parking garages and parking lots. we destroyed detroit. we turned it over to cars. but, we see -- look, everything that's orange or red is area committed to cars only. those are parking garages and circuit lots. that's a weird thing to do to a city. it makes perfect sense when you are living in a world that's driving is subsidized, right? its land x says is for cars. most of the time they are not moving at all. blue means mobility and red
means access. parking is permanent access so we need to redraw asstos diagram like that. i want to conclude and suggesting to you that we don't know what americans would prefer to do especially in urban america, given the choice because they don't have the choice. we don't know what the free market would decide because we don't have a free market. we would actually don't really know if this love affair thesis have any merit because the term did not exist. remember how it appears on the scene? they created this story to help us believe this is what we
prefer. since then, we accepted this story because we forgot the past and you all know that those who cannot remember the past or or -- are condemns to repeat it. i urge you to remember the past. if there are any questions or whatever, feel free to chime in. we only have another minute or two of class. all right. well, thank you, you have been a patience audience. this labor day weekend, american history tv has three days of featured programming. saturday night at 8:00 eastern, oliver rosales shares his
personal family history and about the national farmer organizations. chavez was throwing this up. the people at the bottom of society were becoming engaged and fighting for their rights and working conditions but also mobilizing for politicians, right? we'll talk about this later, i know some of you have mentioned this in history, one of the best friends of the chavez's family is the kennedy's family starting with john and robert and their children. sunday evening at 6:00. we'll visit the national security archive at george washington university with its director of tomas blanton. john moss picks up this bright young illinois man.
he has a pretty good explanation why the bill did not became a rule majority bill. he's gotten so big that it involves so many pieces of our commercial lives and medicare and assets and social security and s foro forth. we need to be able to uphold our own. our standard of living and freedom and restrain on government. monday morning at 11 eastern, the national parks service marking our 100th anniversary at our arlington house. >> we spoke with robert stanton. we were incredibly fortunate that we are able to tell our specific needs for all kinds of things, for the museum objects and telling our stories and physical fixes and constructions
that needed to happen, not just to the buildings but to the historic grounds and gardens. we were able to present it. >> for our complete american history tv schedule, go to cs n cspan.org. this weekend, c-span cities tour along with our cable partners will explore the literary life of history of denver, colorado. it is considered the corner stone of literary culture of denver. >> if you look at the type of cover, you will see green carpet and some times brass fixtures. >> hunter thomason and his books of stories of "i tell myself." he's born in 1936. when he's growing up, he didn't
grope up in an era where his father were, you know, typically heavily involved with raising a kid. that was part of it. second, writing was always, that was the most important thing. family was secondary for sure. >> also, this weekend as part of of our c-span tour, colorado history on american history tv. >> so we do have elk that uses this area and they use the drainages for cabbing and we have mill deer, there maybe some mill deer out here and coyotes and occasionally there are a bear in the area. kimberley deal of the offer of the book of "the denver mint"
and talks about how the city changes its city. >> 1880s, denver itself gotten rich. it wanted to become the queens city of the plains. the center of commerce, the leader in the western united states. and, the city father at that point decided that a mint they're proud of was apart of that process. the c-span cities tour of denver, colorado on sunday afternoon at 3:00. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. professor roger grant talks about the history of american transportation and the rise of electric rail at the end of the 19 century, inner urban were similar to rural trolleys.
before the rise o f the personal automobiles, these local systems allowing people from rural areas to get to city centers in a cheap, reliable way. he talks about inter urban as precursor to the urban light rail today. his class is about an hour and ten minutes. >> this morning, we are going to begin a three part study of electric inner urban. one of the least studied aspect of american transportation history. the overall theme and one that i want you to keep in mind, we can making argument that the electric inn electric inter urban were the world's trolley. in fact, if the automobile had been