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The Death of Common Sense

So it seems that some churches in residential neighborhoods in Queens are causing friction with their neighbors, because all the people coming to services are causing parking problems. The solution? Force all new religious institutions to build parking lots. Which may be oppressive enough, since real estate in New York is very expensive. But for certain groups, like Orthodox Jews, the rule is beyond idiotic. That's because Orthodox Jews don't drive to synagogue. They have no need for any parking spaces at all.

They know this, but, hey, government is government:

City Councilman Tony Avella, one of the authors of the proposed law, called it a necessary first step.

"You can't write a law for just one religion," Mr. Avella said of the Orthodox Jews' complaints.

Of course. So what's next, requiring Catholic churches to provide male and female bathrooms for priests?

And here's the real question: if government pays for Jews' parking spaces, would this pork barrel spending be kosher?


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Comments (2)


I agree that this is a really stupid law. But you are wrong to say that Orthodox Jews don't drive to synagogue. Observant Jews don't drive *anywhere* on the Sabbath. They do drive, even to synagogue, the rest of the week. And since Orthodox Jews pray three times a day during the week, a parking lot would be more valuable to them than to say, Reform Jews or Congregationalists who only visit a house of worship once a week.

Still, these problems should be negotiated and solved by the local communities, not the state.

The problem *is* being negotiated by the local community - it's city law, not state law, that the article is discussing.

Anyway, God Himself would have a tough time finding a parking space in Flushing, law or no law. Parking is a lost cause there - the law I'm up in arms about is the apparent law that all new buildings in Queens (and especially Flushing) be as butt-ugly as possible. Ye gods, it's horrible.


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