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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: APRIL 18
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 car with tinted windows, illegal in NYC. Other booths encouraging people to avoid public transportation were Lyft, Zipcar, Enterprise Rent-a-car, etc. There was one openly car-free booth, sponsored by City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez. Photo: Wayne Fields

 Letter from George
April 1, 2017      

Second Annual Car-Free NYC

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

April is Earth Day Month, and what should be massive protests against worsening environmental and urban crises is more often Kumbaya handholding parties, childrens' face painting events, and rental car promotions (Union Square, Earth Day). Nevertheless, NYC is holding its second annual Car-Free NYC Day, on Saturday April 22, when a 1.5-mile stretch of Broadway in Manhattan, from Times Square to Union Square, will be closed to motor vehicles. While some point out that the city was just responding to the profit needs of adjacent store owners and their landlords, others say some of the plazas have become quite popular for pedestrians (best example: Broadway btwn 22nd and 25th streets).

April unfortunately also witnesses the annual NY Auto Show at the Javit Center, with its absurd over-designed-race-car promotions and some of the ugliest, meanest-looking cars imaginable - and thanks to the Trump regimes corporate-friendliness, it looks like Americans are being brainwashed back into buying huge gas-gulping SUVs!

As long time champions of reducing motor vehicle use, improving transit and repurposing roadways in our crowded city, at our Tuesday April 18 monthly meeting we will discuss plans for our participation in the second anniversary Car Free NY event on Saturday, April 22, 2017. We will also have a presentation highlighting IRUM’s key proposals for remaking some roadway lanes into rail lines, including Goodbye Gowanus, light rail thru the Lincoln Tunnel and putting people on top of the Queensborough Bridge. We’ll also have progress reports on vision42 and Regional Rail.

The meeting will be between 6 and 8pm, at the T.A. offices (a bike-friendly building) are at 111 John Street in Lower Manhattan, not far from the South Street Seaport. An RSVP is not required but strongly recommended at geo@irum.org.

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, April 18, 6-8pm
the Second Annual Car-Free NYC Event
TA's office, 111 John Street, 2nd Fl., NYC

Tuesday, May 16, 6-8pm
Topic to be announced
TA's office, 111 John Street, 2nd Fl., NYC


* DIRECTIONS: Meetings are 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.
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
© Copyright 2016, 2017. All rights reserved. Auto-Free New York. This page last updated April 18, 2017.