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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: DECEMBER 19
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: Not technical issues but unaccountable bureacracies, vision-free, dishonest politicians and a tiny coterie of Encroachment Nimbys have conspired to keep a priceless public asset, the LIRR Rockaway Beach line right-of-way, 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
December 1, 2017      

Airport Rail Access in NYC:
A Fresh Look at Our Municipal Disgrace

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

For decades, efforts to reduce motor vehicular travel and speed travelers to New Yorkís busy airports have met with only limited success. Chronic traffic jams and missed flights are legendary. A one-seat ride between the Manhattan Central Business District (CBD), the nationís largest, and JFK Airport, the nationís busiest international airport, remains a distant dream. And while numerous New Yorkers dream of fast and easy airport access in their hometown, the rest of the world is laughing at NYC's incompetence and mismanagement.

Although most of the problem can be traced to unaccountable bureacracies and craven politicians, there have been many thoughtful and practical options proposed for improving rail access to each of the regionís three major airports, along with some of the outlying secondary airports. Yet advancing a truly comprehensive regional aviation plan that will include a more sustainable ground access component remains elusive.

Plan to attend our next AFNY/vision 42 meeting on Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 6-8pm at the Transportation Alternatives office on 111 John Street in Lower Manhattan to learn more about this issue. Our guest speaker will be Anthony Callendar, a retired regional transportation planner, who has devoted much of his professional career dealing with ground access issues at the Port Authority of NY and NJ. Anthony, who is also an IRUM board member, will discuss opportunities and challenges in dealing with ground transport options for the regionís airports.

Progress reports will also be presented at the meeting on other IRUM initiatives, including vision42 Ė an auto free light rail boulevard for 42nd Street and a plan for remaking of the regionís three commuter rail lines into a coordinated Regional Rail System, with frequent service, integrated fares, and through-running, first at Penn Station and then, using a new link between Penn Station and Grand Central.

Hope to see you on Tuesday, December 19, 2017. An RSVP is not required but is strongly suggested at: geo@irum.org.

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, 2017 - 2018:

Tuesday, December 19, 6-8pm
Airport Rail Access in NYC
Anthony Callendar, IRUM board member
TA Office, 111 John Street, 6-8pm

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 6-8pm
Topic TBA
Location to be announced

Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 6-8pm
Topic to be Announced
Andy Bata, Regional Manager, IATP
Location to be announced

* 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 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 2016, 2017. All rights reserved. Auto-Free New York. This page last updated December 13, 2017.