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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: AUGUST 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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AUTOMOBILE HORROR!
42nd St. Trolleys - Recent History
What's so Great about Streetcars?
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The Five-Minute Activist
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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!

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 to see how well light rail works. Above, participants in our July 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
August 1, 2016      

AFNY's 2016 Summer Walking Tours:
AUGUST: Madison Square to Union Square via Broadway

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

In its desire to make NYC a better place to live, work and visit, Auto-Free NY has staked out clear goals about auto reduction. One chief goal has been to reduce the staggering amount of our public space throughout NYC now dominated by private motor vehicles, and to remake this space into people-friendly public open space, with plants, fountains and seating, along with dedicated space for modern light rail trackways. After some two decades of stagnation, inaction, dissembling and bureaucratic incompetence about its chronic auto-indulgence, NYC - the nationís most crowded metropolis - has finally taken some modest, but welcome steps to move toward a more civilized and humane environment in its core.

On Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 6-8pm, Auto-Free NY/vision42 working group will host its next summer walking tour, to evaluate the success or failure of one of the more ambitious of these steps towards better public spaces - the stretch of Broadway between Madison Square and Union Square in Manhattan. The walking tour will begin promptly at 6pm at the "prow" of the iconic Flatiron Building, on the south side of 23rd Street, just east of Fifth Avenue. We stroll north to 26th Street, then return to our starting point, at 6:30, to meet latecomers, and to continue south on a partially car-free Broadway to 17th Street at Union Square. We will walk on Union Square West down to 14th Street. Our tour coordinator will be Ed Walters, a longtime advocate and supporter of Auto-Free NY.

Several prominent advocates have been invited to discuss proposals for a north-south auto-free light rail boulevard on Madison Avenue/Broadway and a 14th Street "Peopleway," the latter making some news accounts as a possible auto-free corridor to make up for the coming longterm closure of the L train. Also, tour participants will get a first-hand view of the chronic conflicts between the herds of speeding outer-borough express buses that charge through this area, and the many pedestrians who live, work and visit here.

At the end of the tour, those interested can continue the conversation over refreshments - alcoholic or otherwise - at one of the many pubs near Union Square. An RSVP is strongly recommended but not required if you plan to join us, at geo@irum.org. Hope to see you on August 16, 2016!
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.








EarthDay New York, April 2016:
Brought to you by Toyota, Mazda
and Enterprise Rent-a-Car

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, 2016:

SUMMER 2016 WALKING TOURS:
Tuesday, August 16, 6-8pm
Guided Tour: Madison Square to Union Square via Broadway
Meeting instructions: north end of Flatiron Building, btwn Fifth and Bwy, 6pm [latecomers at 6:30, same spot].

Tuesday, September 20, 6-8pm
Topic to be announced
TA's office, 111 John Street, 2nd Fl., NYC



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
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