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Serving NYC since 1989!





pedestrians first!




WHAT IS AUTO-FREE NY?
A movement aimed at exploring and achieving the upper limit of "devehicularization" of our nation's largest city: Get cars out of our parks. Curb the reckless motorists who dominate our streets. Cut noise, smog and traffic costs. Increase pedestrian space and safety. Shift city and state funds from highway expansion to investments in new transit options and extensions -- not just baby steps. Last but not least, make bicycling better. A livable city is possible!


NEXT MEETING: APRIL 17
Auto-Free NY has been holding FREE monthly meetings, featuring a wide variety of guest speakers, since its founding in February, 1989. Usually held in Manhattan, on the third Tuesday of each month, they are open to the public, and no reservations are needed.
The Livable City Transport Plan
is an affordable, comprehensive vision of our city, designed to be achievable in just one four-year mayoral term. Using innovations now common in more sophisticated and democratically run cities here and abroad, this plan would raise New Yorkers' quality of life through better functioning public transit, a noticeable reduction in car use and much more auto-free space in the core of NYC, the most densely populated city in the nation. As always, we look forward to your thoughtful review and comments.

CURRENT EVENTS:
• The City's plaNYC 2030
Lower Manhattan
Light Rail in NYC
Regional Rail Working Group

Light Rail: perfect for cities (photo courtesy www.lightrailnow.org, based in Austin, Texas)

FEATURES:
Glossary
How the NY Times Covers NYC
AUTOMOBILE HORROR!
Previous "Letters from George"
How to Join/Donate
Visit These Links
Recent Books
Remembering Steve Dobrow
42nd St. Trolleys - 1990's Planning History
What's so Great about Streetcars?
Light Rail in the Lincoln Tunnel!
New York Streetcar News Index
East River Bridges
Rockaway Beach Line (Qns)
OTHER VOICES
Life's a Beach for Paris Mayor
Berlin: Transport Politics
The Five-Minute Activist



Auto-Free NY operates under the aegis of the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, Inc. (IRUM), a not-for-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status.
Note: this website is best viewed with Text Size set to "Smaller" or "Medium."
If Car Names Were Honest:
Audi My-Way
Chevy Fistfight
Chrysler Criminal
Dodge Tumor
Ford Poluta XS
GMC Denial
Honda Discord
Hyundai Enslava
Lamborghini OINK
Lexus Segregator
Lincoln Alienator
Mazda MeFirstLastOnly
Mercury Dioxin
Saab Flatus
Saturn UrFaddas
Subaru Deforester
Toyota Runovia
VW Smoggia

Be a patriot - use mass transit!

View from the A train of the southernmost part of the LIRR Rockaway Beach line trackbed. April 2013.

Above: the view across the deserted railbeds of the LIRR Rockaway Beach rail right-of-way. Not technical issues but unaccountable bureacracies, vision-free, dishonest politicians and a tiny coterie of Encroachment Nimbys have conspired to keep this priceless public asset in ruins for decades. View from A train looking north near Howard Beach stop, April 2013. In the background is the A train Lefferts Blvd. branch, headed east. Photo: W Fields.

 Letter from George
April 1, 2018      

Make 42nd Street Car-Free Every Day!

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

Itís time to make 42nd Street carfree everyday!

Find out how to make this happen. Plan to attend the next monthly auto-free New York/vision42/regional rail working group meeting on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 6-8pm at the office of Transportation Alternatives, 111 John Street in Lower Manhattan. Roxanne Warren, architect and author and Chair of vision42, will lead a discussion on the key steps that are needed to make this happen. Even though Manhattanís 42nd Street is NYCís busiest crosstown thoroughfare, with pedestrians outnumbering motorists by a ratio of six-to-one, NYCís elected officials are reluctant to part with their cars.

One hopeful sign of positive change is NY City Council transportation committee chair Ydanis Rodriguezís efforts to call attention to the need to rid our city of its car-packed streets by celebrating NYCís third annual car-free day - on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Car Free Day will open two miles of streets to pedestrian and bicycle traffic only -- including Broadway from Union Square to Times Square and along St. Nicholas Avenue in Washington Heights.

Our regular monthly meeting on April 17 will also feature progress reports on our efforts to advance congestion pricing in the Manhattan core by using carrot-and-stick pricing strategies, and to remake the regionís three separate and disconnected commuter rail lines into a coordinated Regional Rail System - with frequent service, integrated fares and through running - first at Penn Station, and then with a new Hudson River rail tunnel and a "trunk line" that connects Hoboken Terminal with Penn Station and continues on to Grand Central. This would produce a world-class regional rail system that would rival systems already in place, or under construction, in London, Paris and other global centers.

Toward this end, our host nonprofit - the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility (IRUM) - is assisting the City Club of New York as it presents a panel on alternative futures for the region's rail trunk line. Former NY City Council member Dan Garodnick will moderate a discussion among leading rail experts on Friday, April 20, 2018 from 1-2:30pm at Hunter College. There's no charge for attendance. We wish that all of you could come, but, after seating Hunter students, we have limited remaining space. If you are interested, please RSVP right away at:
http://cityclubny.org/evrplus_ registration/.

(For full information, be sure to click on the red "Public Signup" message to get the entire announcement.)

An RSVP for our AFNY meeting on Tuesday is not required but strongly recommended, at geo@irum.org. Also, contributions to IRUM are welcome and can be mailed to the address shown below or on-line: https://www.nycharities.org/ give/donate.aspx?cc=1146.

See you on the 17th!

Sincerely,          
George Haikalis, Chair          

P.S.  NYC SMOG ALERT UPDATES: Despite ongoing propaganda about how clean cars are these days, NYC's air quality continues to be the worst on the East Coast -- practically every day here is an Air Quality Alert Day, meaning you shouldn't breathe when outdoors, or live within a few blocks of a city highway or through street. For updates, call the state Dept of Environmental Conservation at 1-800 535-1345.


WISHING TRAFFIC AWAY IS NOT EFFECTIVE


The car plague is still with us. Illustration dates from the early 1990s.







Peter Moskowitz's book
This new must-read book asks the question, what is the point of a city when only the rich and the super-rich can afford to live there? Read more
NY Times: Filler vs. Reporting on 'Vision Zero'

New tracking technology in our neighborhoods
"I Refuse to Give Up My Freedoms!" Recognize these gray boxes? EZ-Pass and Big Brother have joined op to invade our privacy, using taxpayer money. Location: Atlantic Avenue at Boerum Street, Brooklyn. Read more
SCAPEGOATING BICYCLISTS FOR
NYC'S RECKLESS MOTOR VEHICLE CLIMATE

The Inexorable Logic of Urban Auto Use Reduction

Upcoming
Auto-Free NY Meetings, 2018:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 6-8pm
Make 42nd Street Car-Free Every Day!
Roxanne Warren, architect, author and chair, vision42
TA Office, 111 John Street, 6-8pm

Tuesday, May 15, 6-8pm
TBA
TA Office, 111 John Street, 6-8pm


* DIRECTIONS: Except for our summer walking tours, meetings are held at Transportation Alternatives' HQ, at 111 John Street, 2nd Fl. (just off Water Street, below the Seaport. Bike-friendly building!) Meetings start promptly at 6pm and end at 8pm. Our meetings are always FREE and open to the public.
ROME, October 2004. Photo courtesy Wayne Fields.
ROME, Oct. 2004: A modern trolley waits quietly on the Via Arenula, at the terminus of the popular #8 Argentina line, about 3 blocks south of the Pantheon. Behind the trolley can be seen the state-funded Teatro Argentina. Sophisticated cities the world over are acting now to dramatically expand transit and reduce automobile use, while NYC languishes in a smog of cars, public relations, baby steps on pedestrianization and deep-seated political decadence. AFNY's web manager stands in foreground. Photo: Wayne Fields.

Car Hugger as seen in yet another 'NY Times' car promotion, April 16, 2003.

Above: This car-hugger illustration appeared in the New York Times, which has a longstanding grudge against doing serious transit journalism.
Auto-Free New York George Haikalis, Chairman  |  One Washington Sq. Village, #5D, NYC 10012  |  Phone: (212) 475-3394  |  geo@irum.org
© Copyright 2017, 2018. All rights reserved. Auto-Free New York. This page last updated April 15, 2018.