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: Johnny  Milano for the NY Times

PHOTO OBSCURES EMPTY CAR The NY Times uses misleading pictures like these to obscure the realities of the car crisis the city faces every day. This photo accompanied a NY Times article on Dec 30, 2017 (Saturday). "Support Rises, but Critics are Firm, as Congestion Pricing Gets New Look". Most NYC car commuters drive by themselves, in empty cars. (Uber/Lyft users are also almost always one passenger, with one driver - the most wasteful way to move people ever invented.) Needless to say, the article gave voice primarily to single-occupant car commuters from wealthy, white, transit-desert Queens, like this gentleman. One car commuter was even quoted saying the way to reduce congestion in NYC was to eliminate bike lanes, which would invite bigger traffic jams - of single occupant cars.

 Letter from George
October 1, 2018     

Liam Blank to Speak on
Bus, Rail and the Future of Mobility

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

Our next vision42, regional rail and Auto-Free New York working group meeting will take place Tuesday, October 16th 6-8pm, at the Transportation Alternatives offices at 111 John Street in Lower Manhattan. Our special guest speaker, Liam Blank, Advocacy and Policy Manager for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, will present "Bus, Rail, and The Future of Regional Mobility."

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a NYC-based non-profit dedicated to mobility, accessibility and livability in NY, NJ and CT. It uses data and policy analysis, along with strategic media outreach, to influence decision-making throughout the metropolitan region. Since it was founded in 1993, the TSTC has become a leading voice in the region for transportation and land use policy reform, and has enjoyed a strong record of accomplishment.

The meeting will also include progress reports on key IRUM initiatives including vision42 - an auto-free light rail boulevard for 42nd street, remaking the regionís three commuter rail lines into a coordinated regional rail system with integrated fares, frequent service and through running, first at Penn Station and then by connecting Penn Station with Grand Central Terminal and IRUMís efforts to advance carrot-and-stick measures to reduce car use in the core of the city.

The October meeting is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is highly recommended, to Also, save the dates for the next two meetings:

On Tuesday, November 20th, 6-8pm, architect and planner Peter Brassard will present a plan for regional rail for the Boston area. We are lining up a speaker for our December 18th meeting - stay tuned.

We remind everyone once more, that contributions to IRUM are needed and welcome, and can be mailed to the address shown at the bottom of this page, or online, thru our secure IRUM page at

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:The Summer of 2018 was almost one long Air Quality Alert Day due to the overuse of motor vehicles. Despite ongoing propaganda about how clean cars are these days, NYC's air quality continues to be the worst on the East Coast. Such alerts indicate you really 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, October 16, 2018, 6-8pm
The Future of Mobility: Bus and Rail
Speaker: Liam Blank, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
TA office, 111 John St., 2nd Fl., NYC

Tuesday, November 20, 2018, 6-8pm
Topic TBA
Speaker: Peter Brassard, architect and planner
TA office, 111 John St., 2nd Fl., NYC

* 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 October 11, 2018.