Cars Should Be Banned From City Centres
In this debate, we focus on facilitating the efficiency of commerce in city centre, mostly Central Business District, and on reducing the urban pollution from its root, by not harming the basic necessity of the people, who are working and living in the city centre, about transportation.
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
On avoiding the inefficiency of commerce as the basic function of City Centre
Before we proposition start our debate, we find it necessary to clear up some definition of words. Firstly, we only discuss private vehicle here. Secondly, the City Centre we are to discuss means Central Business District, CBD.
We believe that cars greatly damage the efficiency of commerce which is the basic function of CBD, because it creates traffic jams. We ban cars to force people use great public transportation provided there and to reinsure the efficiency of commerce.
The use of cars is the reason why traffic jams happen everyday in CBD. Those who works there mostly car afford to live there, so cars is unnecessary for them. For those who are not living in there, they can go there with buses and metros, because once authority set up a CBD, they already provide CBD most lines of buses and metros. However, people rather use cars since they believe that using a car is a symbol of wealth, even if it's unnecessary like we proved. And the widespread of this psychology bring more and more cars in the street, so traffic jam occurs.
Traffic jam harms the basic function of CBD, which is to facilitate the efficiency of commerce. The nature of CBD is an area where people could have business more conveniently as all the big companies and financial organs can be found there. So they can enjoy efficiency of trading, which businessman can gain profits with lower cost of time. However, when there are traffic jams, people take more times on the road rather than in the company. The efficiency of trade is greatly harmed. That's why we need to ban cars to reinsure that CBD can be functional.
Our action against traffic jam is justified since the function of CBD is of the benefits of the city as a whole. In this case, people cannot fulfill full liberty to use their property because the city is providing them with great facilities to gain profits, so they shall maintain CBD to function. That's the justification of our action.
With a clear justification, we are proud to propose
Propositon advocates for commerce, yet they want to affect a major mean of transportation, how is that logical? We will prove it is counter-productive.
The main objective for the PROP side is just to avoid traffic jams, with the reason for that being that, somehow (we still didn't understand the logic behind that how, though), the fact that people lose time while in traffic makes them inefficient. Even if that was logical, the truth is that people that work in those commercial and financial districts obviously take the fact that there is certain traffic into consideration when working in those centers however the important fact is that in order to continue to be employed they have to work all of their hours and do their job effectively, otherwise they would be fired from the company, for as simplistic this is, it is logical and real unlike an assumption of inefficiency.
Secondly, the fact that there is traffic in those centers actually doesn't affect commerce or transportation significantly because the objective of those CBDs are built that way is so that major financial institutions and corporations are all close together to facilitate commerce and so in that way it takes minutes to go from any place of that CBD to another one walking or even by car with traffic. For example, Frankfurt's Innenstadt is just .6 square miles while the World's largest CBD (in New York) is 7.82 and Chicago's is the only other CBD in USA that passes the 3 square miles[[demographia.com/db-cbd2000.pdf]]. What does that mean? That traffic is not a real obstacle at CBDs.
Prop says that they believe on not giving people full liberty to use their property in order to maintain a CBD functioning yet as we have said, its function is not affected at all and we will explain in one of our arguments below how it is wrong to deny someone to use their well-earned car as a means of transport. We will also talk about how we don't oppose public transportation however cars are needed in this system.
Car uses at CBD is a quintessential example of rational irrationality that takes a toll on the entire society
Using cars at CBD demonstrates the rational irrationality that ultimately undermines the interests of every "rational" individual. "Driving cars could be fast, and therefore I should drive a car." This is the rationale for an individual. And it surely makes sense. But when millions of people in town all think the same and consequently acting the same, we get problems. Cars are everywhere, making driving a short distance take a long long time: people get stuck in cars, wasting fuels, polluting the environment (for just for waiting!). No body can travel around at all.
Yes, we love to realize people's full liberty's to drive cars and listen to car radios, but that liberty comes with a cost, a cost too big for the society to function, a cost that severely undermines everybody's liberty in this regard. Because when people adheres perfect rationally to their preference, sometime they also act without regard to the irrationality of the decisions cost-benefit analysis in the bigger picture. And the total traffic turmoil is the bigger picture that people forget to take into account. As a result, no one wins. No one get to effectively move at all. Sometimes we need to limit some freedom in order to people to enjoy more freedom in the same way we ban hate speech, we ban racially discriminatory contents. In order for every one to be able to MOVE in CBD, we ban cars here.
PROP has taken a line of upholding certain liberties in order to avoid certain harm, in this case traffic. We say that apparent harm is not really a harm but something natural of the cities but that even if it was a harm, it is not enough to withhold a liberty, and even if it was, in practical terms they will do more harm by creating a heart attack on a city whose main artery will be blocked.
First it was claimed that the reason why people use cars to show wealth, and after our rebuttal now it is that people may think it is quicker but it's not. Well, in reality we cannot know what are the routes or thoughts of the people but we cannot generalize for either way, because sometimes the distances can be covered quicker by using a car (specially through roads that aren't as packed or at certain hours where there is less traffic) and those people will be affected with such a bad policy like this one.
Yet, in the cases where actually public transportation could be quicker than car (because of the places where they live, routes they should take or whatever), we don't believe the reason for people using cars is not stupidity but it may be for more factors such as comfort or security and for that they are willing to maybe take an extra hour at the traffic creating a traffic that affects someone else that also has the choice of public transportation but still prefers their cars (for whatever reason) and so, it is just plain bad to try to reduce an apparent "harm" that the people are actually willing to take and prefer to have! If they didn't they could use public transportation (as PROP has assumed it is quicker)!
The other problem that PROP addresses is pollution but then that can be said about almost everything we do (eating meat and using computers are terrible for global warming, for example) yet the solution is not prohibiting everything but try to mitigate the damage, such as the policies of some cars not circulating certain days or using alternative energy sources.
The policy will help the transformation of CBD
The ideal CBD is a place that makes people enjoy the combination of work and life, therefore making the atmosphere more conducive for increasing productivity and employee satisfaction. Yet the status quo is quite the opposite: people are trapped in their cars--agitated by the non-moving traffic; blocked by the window to actually strike a nice conversation like passengers do in the public transportation system; in the mean time your car is pumping into air toxic gases and wastes simply for the waiting.....It creates a hostile environment from the start of the day! It reinforces the already thin "humanly" communication that a healthy employee needs; It turns all of us into the robot-like lives that reside in machines. Sufficient scientific data has shown the lack of communication is more likely to lead to mental illness. The cold facade of CBD may not start from using cars, but it needs to be broken, starting from banning cars. By banning cars at CBD, we are not only providing people to have more access to talk to each other (which is more likely to happen in the proposed scenario than, say a iron-clad isolated vehicle), we are contributing to the human interaction, the self-actualization, and the satisfaction that eventually comes with socializing in people: we can be heartened by a conversation with a stranger on the bus; or we can breath the crispy air and finally feel alive....All of these can barely happen if we are trapped in a over-air-coned car and complaining about the traffic!
In the mean time, by having the ban, we become more environmental frjendly by both saving the energy and cutting cost.
Last but not the least, less cars, and less demand for funding roads. Then there will be more money for improving public utilities.
By removing cars from the CBD streets, we create opportunities for people to interact; we save more spaces for public utility; and we save the environment; And we get a more habitable CBD.
Really? Meeting people is the problem?
Prop is basing this argument in 2 assumptions: 1st, that all people are extremely socially active as to have the necessity of talking to strangers in the streets. 2nd, that workers do not interact with others at all.
Into the first one: A clarification of prop’s priorities is needed, if they pretend to defend efficiency then why should workers be meeting new friends in the streets of Polanco instead of heading straight to work (remember that now they take longer, as they have to travel by public transport), I thought that was what Fridays and parties were for. The other thing is that fortunately most of them have it clear that they’ve got a responsibility with their jobs and thanks to this and to the typical behavior of people they don’t tend to be searching conversations anywhere, it could also be dangerous.
Second assumption. Actually CBD workers do not have their job stations at bunkers, they have colleagues and partners to whom they can talk to and relax during lunch or other moments. Also companies are conscious about the rhythm of life in cities and this is why they implement activities like picnics and balls for they employees, meaning that they don’t really have a necessity nor an incentive for increasing their friends in Facebook.
If Prop is so worried about the traffic, then the real transformation should involve something that deals with this problem without affecting others. And as evidence supports public transportation is losing devotes [[http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2003/02/public-transit-a-bad-product-at-a-bad-price]], the real change comes along with the improvement of the existing vehicle infrastructure, taking the best out of what we have. Ideas like the development of superstreets by the NCSU [[http://news.ncsu.edu/releases/wmshummersuperstreets/]] may prove to be the answer to what this debate is looking for.
Obviously, the first step towards transformation is opposing to this motio
The World's most important Chief Executive Officers pushing their ways in the subway!
People should not be denied to use the means of transportation that they want, and less if it is one of their property, such as a well-earned car, or at least not for the reasons provided by the proposition.
PROP mentioned that the reason why people use cars is just to show their wealth. We don't just say that is false (for example, in Caracas almost every car has blackened windows so the other people cannot see who is in the car) but we also say that there are many powerful reasons why anyone, and specially those that work in CBDs, would decide to use their cars as best option for transportation (yet again, not opposing public transportation).
A good reason for that is security. Someone like a CEO of a big transnational or the director of a financial institution becomes a vulnerable target when going on public transportation. It is just an absurd idea to think that those men (who may well be some of the most powerful men in the World) would decide to go in an overcrowded metro or bus instead of going with their cars, which are probably surrounded by other 4 with bodyguards. We believe these people need to go to their work in private cars because in any other case they would be an easy target for kidnappings or heavy assaults. If that's not the case then picture them with ten bodyguards around pushing everyone to get into the metro wagon, which right now is already overcrowded in any city you can tell me, and now adding in basically almost everyone that works in CBDs. Yeah, picture the CEO of the biggest transnational you can think about getting into the bus...Now imagine the reporters and general people stalking them...OPP can't.
People have that right over their own cars and they should use them if they want to avoid pushing and being targets for robberies and go comfortable in their cars as well. Whoever doesn't want to have traffic should use public transportation, however if you are willing to wake up an hour earlier but listening your car's music, go for it
The Opp's entire case is based on one assumption: the traffic at CBD is fine, and therefore no need to change. However, they miss the central point of this debate which is CBDs are indeed crammed as hell. Otherwise we won't be having this at all. If they are truly as "logical" as they claimed, they should at least tell us how the all jammed-up CBD where everyone can't effectively transport is better than our proposed transportation which asks everyone especially the sedentary ones to move their chubby buttocks.
Opp talks about efficiency and how cars are efficient. Yes, cars are pretty efficient, but not at CBD! What a real picture is hundreds of thousands of cars all swarm in the business center roads, car honking, people complaining yet no one is actually moving! There is a joke about the CBD of Beijing: with the majority of 750'000 registered cars pouring in, the CBD roads are now called the giant car parking lot. How is that efficient? How does businesses' profit not hurt when you virtually spend the better part of your day stuck in your car; when the mail delivery vehicles get jammed and consequently delay delivery? When it actually takes longer time to drive than to walk? And it is not just in Beijing, in Mexican city too, with "more than 3 million registered vehicles, Mexico City is difficult to navigate. Major roads are nearly always congested.."And the CBD which the Opp recognizes as the "Axis of Transportation" is going to take the hardest blow since all cars go to CBD, and traffic jam there will amount to the degree of unbearable.
Increased traffic as a result of the prohibition of cars
One of the predominant characteristics among CBDs is their privileged geographical location within the cities in which they are located. It is a general norm that this prominent zones must be accessible for the entire city and that they need to be greatly connected in terms of its proximity with transportation centrals and governmental institutions.
This is the reason why much of the urban growth has its epicenter in Financial Districts, meaning that at the they will be the axis of the city or at least one of most transited areas of it (that’s why they are built for, isn’t it?); it is the case of Polanco in Mexico, Innenstadt in Germany, the Yuzhong District in China and of many other CBDs in the world being connected with important avenues and districts.
Because of this particular feature banning the presence of cars does not only directly impact City Centres, people who would usually transit through this channels while heading to their destinations in the terminus of the city or that were simply encouraged to cross this areas would find their most convenient route closed. As if digging an enormous hole in the middle of the city, people would now need to muddle through the peripheries of the city in order to get to where they need. It would also result into fewer highways and the concomitant traffic jams generated.
In the end this won’t only impact the schedules of all of the citizens, but it would also be reflected in the economy as the routes of the cities’ industrial transportation become slower and companies invest more time in moving their products. Contrary to what the proposition established, there is no economic incentive here and a greater affection for the lesser good.
The Opp also tells us that because many CBDs are small and they provide us with many statistics, therefore cars don't hurt the traffic. Again, their evidence just further undercut their case. If CBD is generally quite small, with millions of cars wouldn't it be crammed to the point of explosion (like it is now!) and that helps facilitate traffic? The answer is NO. More importantly If they are small, then businesses are just within walking distance, several subway or bus stops away, would that be easier for people to run between meeting than get stuck in the car.
Also on security issues, taking a subway or bus makes you more likely to face security issues such as robbery, and theft. In order to make this point at least stand, the Opp should tell us how driving a car makes you less likely to be robbed and stole from. And the evidence can point to the other direction: you can have your car stolen while you are at work; you can have the robber hiding in your car and attack you or just smashing your window which is more likely to make you hurt.....And in the subway or bus, at least you can get help from other passengers!
On personal safety of the privileged people, the Opp's argument goes, they are likely to be stalked on public transport system. Well please heed the definition, if these people are privileged to hire body guards, then the vehicle they are using is not a private car because there are organizations who have vested interested in sending their car for the "privileged ones" to use in order to make them better protected.
Workers, living & transportation
A second problem derived from the policy concerns the labor force of the CBDs. While it is true that a “car free zone” may actually help to reduce traffic within the area, it wouldn't ease the transportation requirements of its population.
As noted by the affirmative team residents of CBDs could take advantage of this policy, but Business Districts are not intended to serve as residential zones. In his book Commercial Structure and Commercial Blight, Brian Berry explains why land value is higher in CBDs than in any other place , and given the high cost of the land the population of this areas is reduced and living there is affordable exclusively for executives and top directors.
But we most keep an eye in the rest of the labor force of the big companies, the majority, as all of these other employees come from other zones in the cities or even from different cities just for the labor journey. Forcing all of these persons to travel by public transportation from their far away residences to the Financial Districts would take a really efficient system -fast, cheap, secure, clean, and always accessible- for making the measure successful.
Truth is that there are not too many countries that can claim to have one of those. In the everyday experiences people face with crowded buses, dirty installations and a lot of irregularities that make it much more easier for them to travel by car, this with the normal amount of passengers, now if we add all of the people that are going to change their means of transportation then those anemic systems would collapse.
In order for the policy to succeed then we need to restructure not only the CBDs transport, but the whole city’s transportation system! It is of course a titanic effort that takes lots of investment and resources which would make the situation difficult to come true, the initiative would just turn into a daily headache for workers.
Sedentary! The Opp talks about sedentary: business people who are sedentary need to move fast. Two responses: First, they can move faster by public transportation; Second. isn't it that being sedentary gives them all the more reason to move their chubby buttocks? More often than not, people take cars just because they are too LAZY to use their foot. And more importantly, this creeping mentality that all the privileged people get to use cars make the CBD snobs all the more willing to cram up in the cars, the millions of which are destroying the functioning transportation in the CBD!
But at some point we have the courtesy to concede, public transportation is not perfect. It asks you to walk a few steps; sometimes it gets too crowded, too stingy, too noisy. But that is not public transportation is inherently about. It is not that all pleasant at the present is that it is so underfunded! In the case of D.C. metro system, "About $50 billion in backlog repairs is needed for rail transit systems, but just $5.6 billion was spent in 2006". The governments are so obsessive with building more roads to accommodate cars (which doesn't quite solve the problem because it extends to size of the city, making people travel more distance and takes away the public space which otherwise could be a park to rest in, a museum to immerse in; or a library to contemplate in), thereby making the funding available for public system barely meet the needs. If we ban cars in the CBD, the funding need for more roads will be reduced, and more money will be available for a comfortable and spacious subway and bus system.
What commerce in CBDs is really like
In times of a massively interconnected economy, with sales rising or falling for unimaginable events in distant parts of the world, the importance of this districts relays not in heavy industrial processes but in the service sector. The similarity among the firms located in CBDs reside in that almost all of the establishments there are dedicated to administrative and financial labors, not mattering if the enterprise sells cars or if it is an important telecommunication firm.
We will find executives, managing directors, officers and employees which jobs are far from being the sedentary tasks of staying in an office 8 hours a day. No, this class of workers requires jumping from meeting to meeting, they may need to travel themselves to supervise the correct fulfillment of a project in one of the enterprise’s facilities, or they’ll need to take care from an international client who has come to close a deal.
Given the conditions of their jobs they may also require to carry themselves valuable and ostentatious objects as cell phones or laptops, a change of clothes, documents and things which are difficult to be controlled by just two hands in one same moment.
Viewed from any of the perspectives it is clear that having a car is not a luxury for them, it is a requirement for their jobs and it is the reason why many companies take the initiative to provide their employees with a vehicle so that they can always be in time for their appointments, with the necessary equipment and without incidents. As simple as it sounds.
Substituting their transportation means may mean a decrease in efficiency, because no matter how good a public transport is, it will always take more time than traveling by your own in your car. Even if the delay is minimum, let’s say 20 minutes more than a car journey per trip, a person who needs to attend to 4 different meetings in a single day will require more than an hour more than if he had travelled by car. Quite an elevated price to pay.
Status Quo is way better for the problem they try to solve
If you block an artery of a human body the consequence of it will be a heart attack. Same applies with the main roads of a city, and that is what the Proposition tries to implement. As we have already said, through the CBDs transit many cars, not only those of the people that work there, but also people that live around and want to go to any other place, or people that cross the city. Actually there is more people that transit those streets than those that actually go to CBDs that, as we have raised, are small. And yes, we stand on our point that the traffic is not bad within CBDs because people don't take cars to travel 200 meters (the majority of the World's CBDs are less than a kilometer long). Does the proposition really think that people use cars when they can just arrive in one or two minutes walking? That's not the case, the traffic is caused by everyone that transits around the city and needs to go through the center (from east to west, north to south...).
Now picture all the people that want to move within the city blocked! The only result will be total chaos of a city! The people will need to look for alternative routes (that will be even more jam packed, since they are not built to receive traffic, unlike those that pass in CBDs) and if there are none, then the government will need to build other roads (which is almost impossible) just to avoid those 600 meters that are the main artery of the city. It will just be a ridiculous policy.
Now, on the point of security, we don't say cars are perfectly safe (so of course the Proposition can raise hundredths of hypothetical crimes committed against car drivers) however in public transportation you are exposed and vulnerable, unlike cars, where you can go unnoticed and less of a target (specially in those traffic roads without traffic lights), and in cases of high profile people, they may need bodyguard cars that ARE NOT public as the Proposition tries to say, since those services are not provided by the state.
We say banning private cars in CBD instead of letting those cars stuck in the traffic jams is really important. Because it severely damage the efficiency of CBD, for example CBD of Beijing. Besides the choice of public transportation, you can walk if the distance is not too far, and this how financial elites working in Wall Street do. Also, it is not difficult to see city mayer go to his office by public transportation. The concern of being a target of terrorist in this case is far less harmful than living in a fixed habitation and working in a fixed location. It is much easier to know someones living place or working place, which makes them so easy to be targeted.
Having a car is not a luxury. So that’s why so many people can buy it. However, overuse of cars in CBD have CBD fail to function or function less. The traffic jams caused by heavy traffic burdens requires a solution. OPP should not just talk about the benefit of owning a car without facing the situation we have. The solution of removing heavy traffic burdens is not about broad avenues or more highways, as we witness a lot of cities in China with super broad and super complicated transportation systems still cannot find a way to ease the burden of overuse of private cars, especially in the CBD areas where most of the cars are heading in or out. An example from CBD of Seoul, Korea, a high way constructed in the super busy CBD, removed and replaced by an artificial river. Consequently, the former traffic burden in that region has been removed and make the place nicer and much more efficient in transportation. But problem here today is the over use of cars in CBD region, which makes the region not as efficient as it is expected. Then we need to change, to perfect it with banning private cars used here. Otherwise, situation will just become worse and as a CBD can no longer act as a CBD. Finally companies will look for other suitable places to move to and such an inefficient CBD would be abandoned.
Why banning cars isn’t a smart decision
I dare you dear proposition to take a look into one of the streets of Raffles Place or of any other ironical CBD around the world. Places conceived for maximizing efficiency. How? By using cars! That is the reason why you’ll find yourselves surrounded by traffic lights, parking lots, big avenues and gas stations that were all built for supporting the smart and efficient drivers. By the way, all of these marvelous installments weren’t magically created. Governments had to make use of taxes to give maintenance to streets. Entrepreneurs spent millions in building the parking slots in all of the skyscrapers. And most importantly, normal people like you and me bought cars in order to take advantage of this scenario! Because doing it would lead them to easier and more comfortable lives. The prohibition of cars will take away the soul-purpose of the investments of all of these groups. It’ll turn what was once a very rentable active into an obsolete and depressing passive.
Appealing to the recycling of this resources, like the transformation of big avenues into quicker effective transportation and better investment is false and wrong. Government may have the resources for doing it but it doesn’t justify the frittering of billions of dollars that those roads cost to all of the citizens [[ftp://ftp.dot.state.fl.us/LTS/CO/Estimates/CPM/summary.pdf]]. Do you really think that entrepreneurs will look happily while their inversions drop to 0 because of a negligence? Like constructing the parking slots and gas stations, remodeling them for making them again usable costs money, and a lot of it.
What about the civilians who will be forced to watch how their cars powder in their garages because they can only use them when they don’t have to work? That is certainly not what they bought them for, hours of effort going to waste. It is actually an abuse! To protect the investments of the many people who rely on the effectiveness of the usage of car, we beg you to oppose th
There are three key questions:
1,-Will this measure prevent traffic?
This was the most discussed issue since Prop defined that as the problem they tried to solve and we have clearly made the point that it won't be the case. Prop started off the debate by saying that, obviously, traffic jams are caused by cars, however there was not major analysis on that whilst we said that actually blocking the main artery of a city will give it a heart attack, since cars need to go through the centers in order to get to other places (or through) the city and here they would need to go around, something answered, whilst we also said a better investment is to improve roads.
2.-Will it affect commerce?
Yes because traffic isn't much of a problem within the CBDs since, as we said, they're purposely built small so everything is close together and by walking distance so the people actually walk there, however the nature of the people working there requires them to use their cars a lot (such as for supervising projects or transporting clients) since they are active and need to be moving from place to place carrying laptops, without necessarily the public transport system being able to carry them everywhere, so in the end their policy will be the one that affects commerce. Prop's main reason on commercial harm is that somehow for being in the traffic, people stop being efficient however Opp said that those workers take their cautions and are obliged to work their hours, regardless of the hours they lose outside work. We also said that with slower routes, the industries will suffer losses, as will the government and its road investments .
Their point of meeting friends in the subway was just pointless; we said relationships are done at the office and parties.
3.-Should the right of using cars be denied?
No, because Prop says that using cars is irrational, first by saying that people only use cars to show wealth and when we made our rebuttal saying that actually in some cities the majority of cars have darkened shields/windows they changed their minds saying that the reason was stupidity in the people thinking cars are quicker than the public transportation, and we said sometimes they are , and even in those cases where they aren't, the truth is that they prefer to use their well-earned investment of car where they can be more comfortable even if they are willing to take more time, this is a matter of being their own choice, which Prop tried to cut on the basis that people are irrational. Most people clearly prefer traffic than public transportation.
Moreover there could be other reasons such as security, and Prop answered that cars can still be targets for crime, but we said that they could be a less vulnerable target. Then our point of high profile people fully stands on our side since Prop only answered saying they could still use security companies since they are public, something that is obviously not true. They do a direct harm here.
Opp made its point clear.
What do you think?