If your automatic dies in the middle of an intersection, can you put it in gear and crank the starter to move it? Didn't think so.
You don't need to do that. Put it in neutral and push it, fat-ass.
If your car is dying in the middle of an intersection, it's time to take it to the junkyard and buy something newer than a 1985 model.
Can you get an automatic with a dead battery rolling down a hill, pop the clutch, and start it? Didn't think so.
Try that in any manual-transmission car made in the last 15 years and get back to me. It won't work.
Plus, manual transmissions serve as an anti-theft device. There are numerous accounts of theives breaking into cars, finding a stick shift there, and not being able to drive it, fleeing the scene on-foot.
If the car they're stealing is a model which is hot and frequently comes with a manual (i.e. any sports car, "sport compact", etc.), this isn't a problem for the thief. Thieves targeting those cars know how to drive them.