As road congestion caused increasing timetable problems, passengers began abandoning trams at the very time that the tramway companies' operating costs were rising. The inevitable deficits led to the decision to abandon tram operations in favour of buses and subways. By the late s, Tokyo had only one remaining tramway line. Today, there are calls to revive the tram concept as light rail. But this will only work if the lines have exclusive right-of-way, and if demand warrants the investment. Here, it is worth mentioning the efforts in Tokyo to construct elevated lines over roads and waterways for exclusive use by monorail and new transportation systems.
Cars and taxis carry relatively few people in the city centre and sub-centres, because population densities and traffic congestion are high, and because the few available parking spaces are very expensive. However, the car is assuming greater importance in the nearby Tama district and in neighbouring prefectures Table 2. As the number of commuter trains increased around Tokyo, many new depots had to be built during the s and s. Very high land prices in the city centre and surrounding commercial areas make it impossible for the railways to obtain cheap land for further development.
It is exceedingly difficult to obtain land at all—and any successful purchase involves much expense of time and astronomical amounts of money. These problems can be avoided to some extent by building elevated lines and by building underground, but construction costs rise in proportion to difficulty.
New York Central Railroad
The postwar economic boom exacerbated these problems. Conditions were more favourable to railway construction from the s to s—the golden decades for railway investment—when a considerable proportion of total investment was spent in railways. This spending both stimulated the economy and helped develop the social infrastructure. In those days, rail investment prepared for future growth.
On the other hand, postwar railway investment has usually been a futile attempt to catch up with spiralling demand caused by high economic growth and rapid urban sprawl. In many cases, the high cost has negatively affected the railway companies' finances. During the s and s, private railway companies invested considerable sums in construction of metropolitan and suburban lines. An examination of their capital procurement practices during these decades shows that: 1 When raising capital, the companies depended to a great extent on increasing capitalized stock.
They had few retained earnings to draw on. For example, they issued corporate bonds and secured loans through railway foundation mortgages. Bank loans formed only a small part of borrowed capital. In other words, they invested in railways while expanding their investments in other business sectors as well. These facts show that railway companies disposed of a considerable percentage of their profits through payment of dividends, and that their retained earnings were negligible.
This trend was even remarked on before Railway investment could not be self-financed through retained earnings, and any increased profits were eaten up by paying out more dividends. Stocks rose in value, increasing the ability of shareholders to underwrite new investments in stocks. This in turn created positive signals that prompted further investment. For its part, the government introduced a system of subsidies that stimulated the private railways to further development. The Light Railway Subsidy Law of provided government subsidies to new private railway companies for 5 years after their establishment.
The 5-year limit was raised to 10 years after the law was amended in These subsidies were a boon for railways. For example, the Tokyo Yokohama Electric Railway now Tokyu Corporation enjoyed government subsidies for 11 years—the subsidies were of great help during the 6 years it took the railway to go from start-up to profitability before depreciation. During this period, the company was only just able to continue paying 6.
Subways became the focus of most new railway construction in metropolitan areas after WWII. Subway construction is immensely expensive and some funds were raised by contributions from local governments, but most were in the form of borrowed capital from other sources. As a result, the costs of this borrowed capital weighed down operations for many years.
In , the government introduced a new subsidy system for subways to lighten their debt load, ensure stable operations, and promote further construction. These subsidies were small at first, only covering part of the interest on loans.
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Gradually, the subsidies and subsidy ratios were raised over time, and the payment system was modified to the subway operators' advantage. The national and local governments share these subsidies equally, but even with these generous pay outs, all the nine publicly operated subway companies in Japan, except the Teito Rapid Transit Authority Eidan , suffer deficits each year, and their accumulated debt is continuing to mount.
Major private railways in the metropolitan region continue to operate lines that were built before WWII. Since the war, they have improved rail services mainly by operating more and longer trains. This has involved purchase of more rolling stock and lengthening of platforms. Other steps to increase basic capacity have included building elevated track in certain areas, quadrupling tracks, and constructing short new track sections to permit through operations to subway lines.
This new infrastructure has required very large investments, with most of the capital being external loans at relatively high interest rates. Another problem is that the investments are aimed at alleviating congestion, not generating much new revenue, so construction tends to drag on. To deal with these problems, in , the government introduced a law to facilitate investment in infrastructure for specified urban railways. Under this law, fares can be adjusted an extra amount upward by adding an amount to the fare increase determined according to the conventional rate-base method.
This extra is set aside in an untaxed reserve account at a designated financial institution, forming a surplus for each specified railway. Funds in this reserve are then used to pay construction costs. The Albany and Susquehanna provided a line from Albany southwest to Binghamton , while the Lackawanna and Susquehanna split from that line at Nineveh , running south to the Jefferson Railroad at Lanesboro. Also leased in was the Schenectady and Susquehanna Railroad , connecting the Albany and Susquehanna at Duanesburg to Schenectady , opened in  reorganized as the Schenectady and Duanesburg Railroad in This provided an extension, completed in , north from Whitehall to the border with Quebec ; a branch opened in to Rouses Point.
Lines of the Grand Trunk Railway continued each of the two branches north to Montreal. Some company directors questioned the wisdom of acquiring extensive rail systems in northern New York State. A direct line to Albany, New York existed for many years through the canal and river system, so most of the coal markets in the area were already accessible.
These concerns were overruled by the majority, who believed there would be great benefit to having an-all rail route to Upstate New York that was not nearly as vulnerable to winter weather as the canal. It was also desirable to avoid situations in which the company would have to rely on other railroads to reach its markets.
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The canal was last used on November 5, , and the gravity railroad closed January 3, On April 28, the name was changed to the Delaware and Hudson Company to reflect the lack of a canal, which was sold in June of that year. Between Port Jackson and Ellenville , the right-of-way for the canal was used by the Ellenville and Kingston Railroad , a branch of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway , chartered in and opened in In conjunction with the Plattsburgh and Dannemora Railroad , which had been leased by the Chateaugay Railroad, this formed a long branch from Plattsburgh west and south to Lake Placid.
This line ran from St. Lambert , a suburb of Montreal, northeast to Fortierville , most of the way to Quebec City. This line opened in , forming part of the shortest route between New York City and Montreal. Opened in , this line runs north 6. After several merger plans fell through, EL petitioned for and was included in the formation of the federal government's nascent Consolidated Rail Corporation Conrail. Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania , purchased the line south of Carbondale to Scranton and currently serves a growing number of industries in the valley under the auspices of the designated operator Delaware Lackawanna Railroad.
Lawrence and Hudson Railway. In , the St. As described above, it was originally constructed as a coal hauling route, and when that business declined it proved difficult to turn a profit. The railroad's current prognosis is arguably better than it has been in a long time. Along with the NYC connection, haulage agreements with other railroads are greatly increasing traffic. This is an indication of the increasing importance of reliable service. However, in July , the was sent to National Railway Equipment in Silvis, Illinois for a complete rebuild and repaint.
When emerged from the paint booth, it had been painted into Canadian Pacific's Candy Apple Red paint. In , CP finished installing an updated signaling system on the line. In , CP started doing extensive work on the line, possibly in preparation for increased traffic. The Delaware and Hudson was one of if not the longest-operating Class I railroads in American history. While in independent operation the railroad was well managed.
Loree ordered many of the railway's larger locomotives to be taken off the mainline and serviced with the sole reasoning being to keep men working so they didn't lose their jobs. Most of these engines were in excellent condition and didn't need repairs. The origin of the name Delson comes from a contraction of " Del aware and Hud son ".
What actually happened was that the design of the new subway stations was outsourced to assorted stars of the modern art world, most of whom not one New Yorker in ten thousand would likely recognize by name or achievement. The artists are depicting themselves and their celebrity friends imitating us, waiting for a train and doing all the perfectly ordinary things that we ordinary people do!
It is one thing to replace some of the more offensive monuments and messages from the past, quite another to simply blank out everything with the generic and the tragically hip. Our buildings and our public art today are not a corrective but the easy disengagement of the developer. The void in our art reflects the sensory deprivation of our neighborhoods, where the complex and varied city has also been wiped out. The things we have lost will never be found again, and the new things we have received are literally empty and spiritually devoid of meaning. What are we going to do about a New York that is, right now, being plundered not only of its treasure but also of its heart, and soul, and purpose?
Bill de Blasio, our current mayor and previously an obscure local politician, was first elected in , running against Republican Joe Lhota, a longtime state and city bureaucrat under the old regime and its ethos of development first, now, and always. Lhota ran a scorched-earth campaign, warning New Yorkers in commercial after commercial that a vote for some fuzzy liberal like De Blasio meant regression, meant going back to the bad old days of runaway crime, bankruptcy, and disorder. When all the votes were counted, Lhota had lost by nearly 50 points. Crucial as this sort of work is, it only stanched the bleeding.
The remaining 80, new units of affordable housing would start to materialize with De Blasio rezoning fifteen neighborhoods for higher-density habitation. This approach, as well, did absolutely nothing to contain rents. Worse still was the other tool that De Blasio would use to coax the developers into building in these newly rezoned hot spots: article a of the property tax code. This has been the leading means by which New York has built new housing since , when the federal government largely dropped out of the business.
The developers are taxed only at what the property—often a vacant lot—was valued at to begin with, excluding all the value their new building adds to the property.
No one could ever accuse this provision of discouraging new building. It is, in other words, mass gentrification locked in for many years to come, while the city is further starved of tax dollars needed to maintain and improve its public services. The a tax break is an anachronistic tool left over from the Seventies, when both landlords and the middle class were abandoning the city in droves. Nothing could be further from the case today, and the recent evidence is abundant that continuing to use it is a counterproductive strategy, one that is subsidizing the wealthy while diminishing the amount of affordable housing available.
Not so coincidentally, as Greenberg reports, landlords have redoubled their efforts—often illegal—to bribe or intimidate their less affluent tenants into moving out. Some of the more egregious examples he cites are in Brooklyn: landlords cutting off heat and hot water, inviting belligerent homeless men to defecate and hold drug parties in the halls, not fixing collapsing walls and ceilings, nailing up plywood over doors, locking tenants out and getting them arrested, and, in one instance, even bearing false witness to get a tenant committed, temporarily, to a psych ward.
I n my part of the forest, thank goodness, the process is a little more civilized, a sort of soft, running eviction. The large rental company that now owns every building on my side of the block and much of the next block as well brought in crews of what obviously seemed to be undocumented workers to repoint the brickwork, and thus drive up the rent for all of us by a couple of hundred dollars each month. Working out on precarious scaffolding in winter weather, these men were forbidden to talk to us, even when we tried to offer them water.
As the older families move out, more crews descend on their apartments, tearing them apart, right down to the brick, in storms of noise and dust that go on for months. They cut through electrical cables and crash through ceilings and walls too. All to lure the next tenants into accepting three times what my wife and I now pay. I like my new neighbors. Better educated, usually, with better jobs, but just as friendly and helpful. On the surface, this would seem to be what New York—and America—is all about: everyone moving on up another rung on the socioeconomic ladder, the city filling again with the next extraordinary group of people who will cherish and enhance it.
But I try not to get too attached, for I know that their time here is limited. They are transient, here only for a few years at most, until the next child or the next job—until they can buy a place of their own, or the home company in France or California decides to stop subsidizing such outrageous rents. We are becoming a city of transients. Already, there are at least two apartments in my building operating as Airbnbs, an increasingly popular practice in many New York buildings; the only question is whether they are being run by the tenants or by the landlord.
The potential safety or comfort of the rest of us, now living with night-to-night tenants who could be anybody, is not their concern. The very idea of permanence is anathema to our landlords, just as it is to most employers in this city and in cities all over the country. It is the same thing for commercial spaces. Rather than drop their rent demands even now, landlords are often simply switching to short-term tenancies, better known as pop-ups. The better business got, the more stores went under and were abandoned. The more storefronts went vacant, the higher rents kept going.
But wherever and whatever they are, the lesson is the same: everything is temporary. The whole idea of a permanent community is fading away. Some practical reforms might start with ending a and other subsidies for wealthy developers, thereby bringing the city tens of billions of additional tax dollars over the next few years and eliminating a major incentive for those who would build primarily for the rich. And, as Greenberg suggests, an additional, dedicated half cent in sales tax, say—akin to how Los Angeles taxed itself recently to expand its mass transit system—could provide a permanent funding source to build and rehabilitate housing.
When it comes to the retailers, others have dared to suggest reinstituting commercial rent control. David Dinkins even made that idea part of his winning mayoral platform back in , though—as happens with so many winning Democratic Party campaign promises—once he was elected, Dinkins quickly made it clear that he had no intention of seriously pursuing any such popular measure.
Unbeknownst to most New Yorkers today—so thoroughly has even the rumor of it been stomped out—the city did have commercial rent control for eighteen years, from to Another good idea would be to restrain ourselves. Co-ops, then more collectivist enterprises, were originally encouraged as a way by which working- and middle-class tenants could save buildings for themselves that had been neglected or abandoned by landlords. Since then, New York homeowners have been able to join the ranks of the biggest landlords, running longtime small businesses out of their stores with extortionate rent increases while reducing or eliminating their own monthly maintenance fees and other assessments.
In other words, we have met the landlords, and they are us. The prevailing idea that we now live in the best of all possible New Yorks remains a powerful one. A rationalization, perhaps, to compensate for the frustration we experience living in a system that no one really likes but that we feel helpless to alter. In a recent history-memoir titled St. Who understands the soul of any place? Who deserves to be here? Who is the interloper and who the interloped-upon?
Who can say which drunk NYU student stumbling down St. Marks Place will wind up writing the next classic novel or making the next great album? What Calhoun and the other adamant Pollyannas refuse to understand is that a bar is one thing, a dance hall is one thing, and even a Gap or a Starbucks is one thing, but a bank branch is another. It is a carpet and a machine from which one extracts money, then leaves.
No one is writing a novel or an album about it. Those things that we do not value, that we do not actively protect, fade away and die. I used to hang out on St. Marks Place, back when Calhoun was a girl. I was seeing a dancer from Waycross, Georgia, and we would go drink seventy-five-cent shots at the Holiday Cocktail Lounge, and talk with old Ukrainian men about the great middleweights they had seen fight, and watch the punks out from the dance clubs play pool.
Walking back from her place to Manhattan one day, in the midst of a transit strike, I crossed the Manhattan Bridge with a couple of winos, with whom I stopped to watch the sun set over the Statue of Liberty, a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. I did not believe that I was living in a utopia, or through the only possible iteration of St.
Marks Place or New York City. But I defy anyone to have that experience in a bank branch, no matter how drunk they are. C ities are all about loss. I get that. Intrinsically dynamic, cities have to change, or they end up like Venice, preserved in amber for the tourists. New York City, for all its might, is no more immune to economic sea changes than anyplace else—maybe less so. It could be said that New York has been gentrifying ever since a lack of space started to push its dozens of shipbuilding yards off the East Side and over to Greenpoint in the years just before the Civil War.
New Yorkers, over time, made just about anything and everything, from chemicals to bread, metal parts to chocolates, furniture to crates for shipping fine art, toys, and clothes of every description. Moreover, as the busiest harbor in the world for most of a century, it moved things.
These industries were constantly in flux, and by the end of World War II, as the only great world city that remained unbloodied and unbowed, New York still had more than a million manufacturing jobs, more than any other city on the planet. These numbers declined slowly at first, then more rapidly, with about half of the old manufacturing base gone by the Seventies. Deindustrialization continued rapidly in the Eighties, until today there are estimated to be fewer than 80, manufacturing jobs, in 6, companies. The Meatpacking District is a euphemism for drunken club-hopping and shopping. The Garment District, caught between Madison Square Garden and the Hudson Yards excrescence, is dissolving into still more trendy bars and restaurants.
The rag trade, so instrumental in shaping the very nature of New York, has been steadily pulled overseas for years. The same thing has happened to the makers of clothing throughout America. For a generation, the piers rotted down to the pilings, while the waterfront crumbled into a drugs and sex bazaar. Things change, people go. Favorite stores and bars close. The owner of that deli you love gets tired of carving cold cuts all day and decides to retire to Florida.
Oil Industry - HISTORY
So what? The trouble lies not in the inexorable fact that cities change but in our failure to deal with that. Since the Seventies, all that our urban leaders, in New York and elsewhere, Democratic as well as Republican, have been able to come up with is one scheme after another to invite the rich in. The prevailing critique of American cities from the right, dating back to the Sixties, was that our existing social welfare state was unsustainable.
The question haunting our urban success stories today is whether the prevailing conservative addiction to privately owned, government-subsidized mega-development is sustainable. Already, there are indications that the whole gimcrack structure is starting to give way. Photographs by Isaac Diggs and Edward Hillel. Below: A Red Lobster opening on the same lot, Extell even failed to rent out thirty-eight lower-floor units at One57, opting instead to list them for sale at a discounted price.
The danger of a city economy based on little more than these oversized piles of Jenga blocks should be obvious. M ore disturbing than any potential fiscal or physical collapse, though, is the moral collapse that New York has suffered. Today, life in New York too often seems like a sci-fi version of itself in which we barely notice as our fellow human beings are picked off by the monsters living among us. The exhibit featured images of the first public housing in the United States, built by New York City from to with funds provided by the federal Works Progress Administration and Public Works Administration.
The buildings were small, and they, too, were no utopia—though they remain much-sought-after homes to this day. By , according to the exhibit, a total of nine such projects had been built in New York, with 11, units, and more than of these developments had gone up around the United States.
Unlike so much later public housing, they were not envisioned or designed as projects simply to store the poor but as integral parts of a new community. Their residents could take advantage of any number of other government-funded community projects all around them, from beautiful new swimming pools to refurbished—and free—schools and colleges. They could attend plays and concerts of all sorts. Their buildings and the public institutions around them were adorned by murals, painted not by art-scene stars imitating them but by artists who lived among them and depicted the histories of their place and their own lives.
This, again, was not utopia. Marion Greenwood, painting her murals for the Red Hook Houses, groused about how she had to endure the criticisms of both bureaucrats and tenants regarding her work, both classes of people she felt had a much lower appreciation of art than the Mexican peasants she had formerly worked with. But this was America, too—and especially New York.
Low-cost housing must go on in the United States. New York has been—and should be—a city of ambition and contentment. Of the getting-there and the got, with plenty of room carved out for those whose desires do not include that deluxe apartment in the sky but simply making a living and raising a family by doing something useful, or not doing anything especially useful at all but existing, living, appreciating the vast urban swirl around them. Yes, the rich will be with us always.