Light Rail
Regional Rail
Penn Station
Livable City Plan
Serving NYC since 1989!

pedestrians first!

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!

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.

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

Light Rail: perfect for cities (photo courtesy, based in Austin, Texas)

How the NY Times Covers NYC
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)
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.
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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!

Photo: Wayne Fields

AFNY SUMMER WALKING TOUR IN JERSEY CITY: Light Rail works! We wish more anti-trolley advocates would visit just across the river (the "Hudson Ocean") to see how well light rail works. Above, participants in our July 2016 Walking Tour prepare to board the northbound light rail line in Jersey City. George Haikalis is at front center, with white shirt and black shoulder strap. Photo: Wayne Fields

 Letter from George
June 1, 2018     

Moving Forward on the BQX Light Rail Line Proposed for the Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

IRUM has long supported light rail proposals for NYC, which can serve as combined "carrot-and-stick" strategies, making dense neighborhoods more livable by introducing appealing surface transit options while reducing street space for free-wheeling motor vehicles, that would diminish levels of air pollution and congestion.

One such initiative is Mayor Bill de Blasioís visionary plan for a $2.5 billion, 16-mile light rail line stretching along the East River waterfront from Astoria south to Sunset Park. This plan would greatly ease travel by public transit for some 600,000 residents living a considerable distance from existing subway lines.

Plan to attend our JUNE Auto-Free NY-vision42-regional rail working group meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 6-8pm at the Transportation Alternatives office on 111 John Street in Lower Manhattan to learn more about this proposal:

"Moving forward on the BQX: the Brooklyn-Queens Connector - a waterfront light rail line," presented by Jessica Schumer, executive director, and Jenna Bimbi, deputy director, of Friends of the BQX.

Progress reports will also be presented at the meeting on other IRUM initiatives, including
- vision42: an auto free light rail boulevard for 42nd Street;
- 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; and
- advancing more equitable pricing strategies for motorists and public transit users, while diminishing excessive car use in the crowded core of the city.

An RSVP is not required but strongly recommended, at Also, contributions to IRUM are welcome and can be mailed to the address shown below or on-line:

Also don't miss this special event: the Last Car to Traverse Celebration, June 26th:
Please meet us at Sixth Avenue and 59th Street at 6:30PM, on Tuesday, June 26th. Transportation Alternatives will be sending off "The Last Car to Traverse Central Park", with a fond farewell marching band; special guest DoT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg has been invited!

Finally, plans for our ever-popular summer walking tours for July and August are being developed. The dates will be Tuesday, July 17, 2018 and Tuesday, August 21, 2018, both beginning promptly at 6pm. The tour location and meeting spot will be announced here shortly.

George Haikalis, Chair          

P.S. Get your FREE 2018 NYC Bike Map, available now at most bicycle shops! This map, published by the City DoT, as part of its WalkNYC program, and updated annually, is one of the best deals around. Pedestrians and transit users will find it useful too since it indicates many local streets, all subway station locations, and all bridge access paths.
  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.


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

The Inexorable Logic of Urban Auto Use Reduction

Auto-Free NY Meetings, 2018:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 6-8pm
Moving Forward on the BQX Waterfront Light Rail Proposal
Jessica Schumer and Bimbi, directors at Friends of the BQX
TA Office, 111 John Street, 6-8pm

Tuesdays, July 17 and August 21, 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  |
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