Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

A Casino for Lower Manhattan? How Banishing Vice Can Backfire

Fifteen people were killed last week when a tour bus returning from the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut crashed on a highway in the Bronx, on the way back to Chinatown in Manhattan. That got the local press writing about tour bus safety, and it also got Cap'n Transit's gears turning about a common way we've dealt with vice -- pushing it far from our cities.

As he points out, relegating activities like gambling to designated "sin cities" and Indian reservations creates a whole new set of problems without really addressing the underlying concerns:

false

The thought I had about the gambling bus crash is that it indicates multiple major failures of transportation and land use policy. There is clearly a high demand for late night gambling, and the system is set up to satisfy it in a grossly inefficient way, with eight-hour bus trips to casinos in the woods of rural Connecticut.

A lot of this comes from the longstanding practice of "solving" problems of vice (which also include undesirable sexual and drug-related activities) by pushing them outside the city, instead of figuring out how to regulate them effectively. With subsidized roads it became possible to push casinos outside the metro area completely, as with Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

The fact that the law required these casinos to be located on a reservation in Eastern Connecticut (but convenient to Interstate 95) means that people who want to gamble in the middle of the night will have to spend a lot of time on the road.

In conclusion, the Cap'n argues that a better solution might be to locate a casino in Lower Manhattan, convenient by both foot and subway, even though there's already a similar operation on Wall Street.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Chicago Bicycle Advocate reports that cycling activists are pushing the state of Illinois to formally monitor dooring crashes. M-Bike.org outlines a plan developed by college students to make Southwest Detroit energy self-sufficient using transit and other sustainable practices. And Grist asks whether the mayorship of Rahm Emanuel will help foster better cooperation between cities and the federal government.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024

Deal Reached: Hochul Says ‘Sammy’s Law’ Will Pass

The bill, though imperfect, has been four years in the making.

April 18, 2024
See all posts