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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: July 21
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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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 exhorts motorists to slow down, May 2015. Not long after this picture was taken, the sign vanished. The paucity of Vision Zero signage citywide leads some to suspect the safety measure is almost a top municipal secret. Photo: Wayne Fields

 Letter from George
July 1, 2015      

2015 Summer Walking Tours:
July: High Bridge to the Bronx
August: Red Hook, Brooklyn

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

Itís summertime and time once again for our always popular Auto-Free NY/vision42 walking tours. Both of this summer's tours will feature Robert Moses at his best and his worst! (More on this later.)

Save the dates, and RSVP [not necessary, but recommended] at info@vision42.org!

JULY:
This Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 6pm-8pm, we'll stroll across the freshly restored High Bridge, spanning the Harlem River from Washington Heights to High Bridge, the Bronx, and now open only to pedestrians and bicyclists. The tour of the 1848 bridge, originally built as an aqueduct and closed for more than forty years, will be led by Michael Frank, a longtime AFNY volunteer and freelance Upper Manhattan tour guide, and will include a quick tour of the Washington Heights neighborhood, including the Audubon Ballroom and the renovated HighBridge Park and Pool. Highbridge Park was a long-neglected, shaggy and deserted hillside city park until recently. We will examine the spaghetti of Cross-Bronx highway interchanges, the Oak Point connector and other rail amenities, current or lost.

Meet us at 6pm sharp, just outside the token booth at the 168th Street station of the A/C and #1 trains, at Broadway. Please be prompt, or else catch up with us as we stroll to the High Bridge.

AUGUST:
Our August walking tour will have Ray Howell show us around the Gowanus Canal and Red Hook. Meet us on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 6pm on the eastern [Park-Slope-end] end of the southbound [Coney Island-bound] platform of the Smith/9th Street F/G station, where we can survey from the platform's height the panorama of these once shunned neighborhoods. Bring a MetroCard, since we will also take the bus to the Beard Street Pier. More info later!

Sincerely,          
George Haikalis, Chair          


P.S.      GEORGE IN TV DEBATE, NOW ON YOUTUBE: I invite you to watch on youtube a lively TV panel debate I was on, on the Brian Lehrer cable TV show (April 2, 2014). The debate, "Rail or Trail (or both) for the disused Rockaway Beach Line in central Queens" featured myself, as president of IRUM, arguing for restoration of the rail right-of-way, and Travis Terry, of the Friends of Queensway, arguing to convert it into a linear park. The youtube address:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVU-E5sY8II

(or use youtube's search function). Note: skip forward around 40 minutes into Lehrer's show, when the debate portion, around 15 minutes long, begins. Enjoy!!
     NYC SMOG ALERT UPDATES:Despite 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 breath when outdoors. For updates, call the state Dept of Environmental Conservation at 1-800 535-1345.
     Regional Rail Group Update: Our Regional Rail Working Group also meets monthly. This group showcases the efforts of individuals from a variety of transit advocacy groups to awaken our region's sleeping giant, its commuter rail system. Note that because of the damage from Hurricane Sandy done to Hoboken in fall 2012, we cannot hold our regular monthly meetings at the Hoboken City Hall.) Until further notice, we urge those who can make it to attend our regular Auto-Free NY/vision42 working group meetings. Information on a restored meeting time and place will be announced as soon as possible.


WISHING TRAFFIC AWAY IS NOT EFFECTIVE


The car plague is still with us. Illustration dates from the early 1990s.






EarthDay NY 2015: Brought to you by Toyota

New York 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, 2015:

SUMMER 2015 WALKING TOURS:
Tuesday, July 21, 6-8pm
Guided Tour of High Bridge, Upper Manhattan
Meet at 6pm sharp, outside token booth at 168th Street A/C and #1 Station, at Broadway

Tuesday, August 18, 6-8pm
Guided Tour of Red Hook, Brooklyn
Meet at 6pm sharp, Smith/9th station on the F/G train, at east end of southbound platform



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): The bulk of these top-heavy, inadequately braked "bloatmobiles" makes their driver feel invulnerable, and so they drive worse, and crash more. Big business, attuned to wasteful and overdesigned products in principle, embraced SUVs as prime subjects beginning in the mid-90s, for one of the most intensive marketing and indoctrination campaigns in US car company history. But inexorably, American price supports for lower cost gasoline are going to end, while the realities of declining world oil production, and increasing political, military and climate chaos will grow more stark. 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. All rights reserved. Auto-Free New York. This page last updated July 17, 2015.