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.
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!

Photo: Ed Walters

AFNY SUMMER WALKING TOUR, NEWARK, NJ, 2018: 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 2018 Walking Tour gather in art-deco Penn Station, Newark. George Haikalis is at front center, with teal blue shirt. Photo: Ed Walters

 Letter from George
August 1, 2018     

Our August Walking Tour
Visits the Air-Train Route, Flushing-Meadows Park, Queens

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

Governor Cuomo’s proposed LaGuardia "Air-Train" shuttle link, to and from the Mets-Willets Point Subway and LIRR stations in Queens, has drawn considerable attention and debate.

Plan to join us for our 2018 August Walking Tour of these two stations and the adjacent Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, beginning at 6pm. We will meet in front of the subway token booth, just outside the 24-hour paid area of the subway station. The tour will be led by Michael Anderson, a nearby resident, who is a Corona Park/World’s Fair aficionado and marathon runner.

For those non-marathon runners, not to worry! The roughly two-mile tour will take place at a comfortable walking pace!

IRUM, established in 1989, has long supported proposals for auto-free zones in NYC. Two outstanding examples were located in Flushing Meadow Park, when the World’s Fairs of 1939 and 1964-65 were designed around ceremonial pedestrian paths, with automobiles consigned to the periphery. The exceptions were those cars exhibited in auto-manufacturers’ buildings. Both fairs included extensive rail facilities which encouraged car-free access to the exhibitions. Unfortunately, car hugging (and streetcar-line-killing) master builder Robert Moses, who promoted these fairs, used them as an excuse to launch extensive networks of express highways in Queens. While not all of the proposed highways were built, much damage was done and communities were split apart. The Park itself, however, remains as one of his legacies and the walking tour will cover a few highlights.

After the tour, those interested can join us for a bite to eat at a nearby pub.

The tour will be on, rain or shine. For latecomers, Ed’s cell phone is (646) 667-9880. An RSVP is not required but strongly recommended, at

Finally, last but not least, contributions to IRUM are welcome and can be mailed to the address shown below or on-line:

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, August 21, 6-8pm
SUMMER WALKING TOUR: Queens' LaGuardia AirTrain route
Michael Anderson, Flushing Meadows Park aficionado
Queens: Mets/Willets Point subway station, outside the main token booth, 6pm sharp

Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 6-8pm
Topic TBA
Location TBA

* 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  |
© Copyright 2017, 2018. All rights reserved. Auto-Free New York. This page last updated August 12, 2018.