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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. Invest in new transit options and expansion -- not just baby steps -- and make bicycling better. A livable city is possible!


NEXT MEETING: FEBRUARY 16
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, 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:
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How the NY Times Covers NYC
AUTOMOBILE HORROR!
42nd St. Trolleys - Recent History
What's so Great about Streetcars?
Light Rail in the Lincoln Tunnel!
New York Streetcar News Index
East River Bridges
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OTHER VOICES
Life's a Beach for Paris Mayor
Berlin: Transport Politics
How to Join/Donate
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The Five-Minute Activist
Previous "Letters from George"
Remembering Steve Dobrow



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!

A rare Vision Zero electronic sign at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn exhorts motorists to slow down, May 2015. Not long after this picture was taken, the sign vanished.  Photo: Wayne Fields

HARD-TO-SEE VISION ZERO: A rare vision Zero electronic sign at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn fruitlessly exhorts motorists to slow down, May 2015. Not long after this picture was taken, the sign vanished. The paucity of Vision Zero signage citywide, and the ongoing siege of the city by reckless, speeding motorists leads some to suspect the safety measure is almost a top municipal secret. A reported slight increase in speeding tickets given to motorists citywide has made little or no difference. Traffic light re-timing, real-time digital speed displays and serious automobile use reduction efforts would be more effective. Photo: Wayne Fields

 Letter from George
February 1, 2016      

Make Broadway the Great "Green" Way"

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

The segments of Broadway at Times Square and Herald Square that have been closed to motor vehicles have been successful - overwhelmed with pedestrians. The remaining blocks of Broadway between Columbus Circle and Union Square are still open to traffic. But few cars or trucks use this valuable, publicly-owned land in the heart of the Manhattan.

New York can do better with this space. Plan to attend our February meeting of Auto-free NY/vision42 working group and find out how to "Make Broadway the Great Green Way." Jonathon Cohn, principal with Perkins Eastman Architects in New York, and Jung Hyun Woo, a student at Harvardís Graduate School of Design, will describe their remarkable plan for making this stretch of Broadway auto-free and beyond. The plan was featured in a fine op-ed piece on January 10 in the NY Daily News:
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/cohn-woo-broadway-great-green-article-1.2490629

The meeting will also review progress on advancing some of IRUMís key initiatives, including (1) a plan for remaking the regionís three commuter rail lines into a regional rail system, with frequent service, integrated fares and through running at Penn Station, (2) our vision42 plan for an auto-free light rail boulevard on 42nd Street and (3) a four-year Livable City Transport plan for NYC.

The meeting will be Tuesday February 16, from 6-8pm at 111 John Street, 2nd Floor (bike-friendly building, just below the South Street Seaport, near Water Street). An RSVP is not required but is recommended, at info@vision42.org. For more information on IRUM visit our website: www.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.








NY Times: Filler vs. Reporting on 'Vision Zero'

New tracking technology in our neighborhoods
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
Remarkable (& Free)
Long Island Bike & Hike Map

SCAPEGOATING BICYCLISTS FOR
NYC'S RECKLESS MOTOR VEHICLE CLIMATE

The Inexorable Logic of Urban Auto Use Reduction

Upcoming
Auto-Free NY Meetings, 2016:

Tuesday, February 16, 6-8pm
Make Broadway the Great "Green" Way
Jonathon Cohn (Perkins Eastman Architects) and Jun Hyun Woo (Harvard grad student)
TA's office, 111 John Street, 2nd Fl., NYC

Tuesday, March 15, 6-8pm
Topic to be announced
Speaker to be announced
time and location to be announced



Wrecked SUV at Canal Street; 2010. Note parking ticket on ground. Photo by Wayne Fields.

Another SUV smashed by its reckless driver (Canal Street, Feb 2011): With gas cheap, SUV's are back, much to the glee of the car companies. The bulk of these top-heavy, inadequately braked "bloatmobiles" makes their driver feel invulnerable, and so they drive worse, and crash more. Big business, pressing its wasteful and overdesigned products, embraced SUVs as prime subjects beginning in the mid-90s, during the Clinton regime. Americans were subjected to one of the most intensive marketing and indoctrination campaigns in US car company history. But inexorably, lower-priced gasoline is going to end, as growing climate chaos intersects with environmental collapse and increasing political and military chaos. Once the true costs of our national gasoline orgy start being paid by US motorists themselves rather than everyone else, these gas guzzling giants will quickly end up more worthless junk - and we may just get the quality public transportation -- and the sustainable economy -- we deserve.


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 2014, 2015, 2016. All rights reserved. Auto-Free New York. This page last updated February 9, 2016.