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AUTO-FREE NEW YORK!  
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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. 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!


NEXT MEETING: JUNE 20
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.

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:
Glossary
How the NY Times Covers NYC
AUTOMOBILE HORROR!
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)
OTHER VOICES
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: Wayne Fields

LAST YEAR: ECO-FEST UNION SQUARE APRIL 2016 NYC: Cars cars cars! Toyota took center stage at the "EcoFest" in Union Square April 17 with a huge car promotion (above, looking towards Broadway in the background). Notice ugly "racing" car with tinted windows, illegal in NYC. Other booths encouraging people to avoid public transportation were Lyft, Zipcar, Enterprise Rental, etc. There was one openly auto-free booth, sponsored by City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez. Photo: Wayne Fields

 Letter from George
June 8, 2017      

Len Resto from NJ-ARP:
A Fresh Perspective on
Improving Transport Planning in the
New York Tri-State Region

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

This November, the tri-state region may stand to benefit greatly when New Jersey elects a new governor, to replace the unpopular administration of Chris Christie, who has been term-limited out. We now know the two frontrunners, thanks to the June 6 primaries: the Democrat Philip Murphy, a multi-millionaire ex-Goldman Sachs banker and former ambassador to Germany, and the Republican Kim Guadagno, Christie's longtime lieutenant governor. While Christie should be commended for keboshing the original, highly flawed trans-Hudson train tunnel, the so-called "Tunnel to Macy's Basement," not long after getting elected, he failed to advance a more sensible plan favored by rail advocates - linking the new tunnel to existing tracks at Penn Station and then continuing on to existing tracks and platform at Grand Central Terminal.

Had Christie pressed for this much simpler and more do-able plan when he first took office in 2009, it would be in place and in use today! Instead, Christie transferred the monies lined up for the tunnel to the state's highway system and to the general account.

Will the new governor be more effective in joining with Gov. Cuomo for a reboot of interstate cooperation, leading to better regional transport? A glance at the campaign websites of the two leading candidates, as of early June, is not encouraging. Murphy has an actual Transportation issues page, which goes after Christie for gutting NJ Transit's leadership and replacing them with his cronies, and which mentions restarting the ARC tunnel to NYC, but no mention of interstate cooperation or much else. Guadagno's website has only a one-sentence mumble about making transportation better, at the bottom of her vague issues page. Rail advocates will have to hurry to make their concerns known.

The key to advancing better transport plans for the region is for the Governors of NY and NJ to collaborate first by advancing thru-running at Penn Station using existing rail infrastructure, and then linking the nation's two largest and busiest stations as a second phase.

In that light, we are pleased to have as our June 20 speaker the president of the NJ Association of Railroad Passengers, Len Resto, who will speak on "Improving Transport Planning for the NY-NJ-CT Metropolitan Area". NJ-ARP, an all-volunteer organization founded in 1980, can be reviewed at: https://www.nj-arp.org/.
The AFNY meeting starts promptly at 6, and ends at 8pm, at the T.A. offices (a bike-friendly building), not far from the South Street Seaport. An RSVP is not required but strongly recommended at geo@irum.org. Hope to see you there!
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.







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
SCAPEGOATING BICYCLISTS FOR
NYC'S RECKLESS MOTOR VEHICLE CLIMATE

The Inexorable Logic of Urban Auto Use Reduction

Upcoming
Auto-Free NY Meetings, 2017:

Tuesday, June 20, 6-8pm
Improving Transport Planning in the NY-N-CT Region
LEN RESTO, President, NJ-ARP
TA's office, 111 John Street, 2nd Fl., NYC

Tuesday, July 18, 6-8pm
Topic to be announced
Location to be announced

Tuesday, August 15, 6-8pm
Topic to be announced
Location to be announced


* 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 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  |  geo@irum.org
© Copyright 2016, 2017. All rights reserved. Auto-Free New York. This page last updated June 9, 2017.