The Myth of Overcrowding

MLewyn's picture
Ninth Avenue

Last week, I had a conversation with a faculty colleague about densification in Manhattan.  He said he visited Philadelphia, and he liked Philadelphia better because it wasn't so crowded.  

But I responded that Manhattan wasn't as crowded as he thought it was.  To be sure, there are a few places in Manhattan (especially at certain times) that are very crowded indeed- in particular, the blocks closest to Penn Station.  When I get off a train and get into the station during rush hour, I am met by the New York stereotype- a sea of people.

But then I walk a couple of blocks north, and as soon as I turn onto 35th Street (the first street north of Penn Station that is not a major east-west street, and only two blocks north of the station) suddenly the street becomes less occupied- not exactly deserted, but just enough so that I can walk home unimpeded by pedestrian congestion. 



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