Light Rail
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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. Invest in new transit options and expansion -- not just baby steps -- and 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, 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
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Light Rail in NYC
Regional Rail Working Group

Light Rail: perfect for cities (photo courtesy, based in Austin, Texas)

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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.
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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!

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 fruitlessly exhorts motorists to slow down, May 2015. Not long after this picture was taken, the sign vanished. The paucity of Vision Zero signage citywide, and the ongoing siege of the city by reckless, speeding motorists leads some to suspect the safety measure is almost a top municipal secret. A reported slight increase in speeding tickets given to motorists citywide has made little or no difference. Traffic light re-timing, real-time digital speed displays and serious automobile use reduction efforts would be more effective. Photo: Wayne Fields

 Letter from George
January 1, 2016      

New Directions in Transportation Planning for Metro-NYC

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

Planning for transport in metropolitan areas in the US has always been something of a bloodsport. While cities and their suburbs function as complex, but integrated economic entities, decisions about metropolitan transport investment are anything but harmonious. To untangle this mess in the 1970s, the Federal government laid out some ground rules for spending its growing share of transport dollars targeted for urban areas. For NYC and its environs, a "system" of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) gradually emerged.

To find out how this works, plan to attend the next meeting of the Auto-Free NY/vision42 working group on Tuesday, January 19 at TA's John Street office, in Lower Manhattan. Our special guest speaker, Gerry Bogacz, director of planning at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) who present "New Directions for Transportation Planning for the 22-million-person NY-NJ-CT Metropolitan Area".

Gerry will provide an update on recent Federal transport legislation which extends funding and planning rules for the region for another five years, and will summarize efforts by NYMTC and the Federal government to advance cooperation among the half dozen MPOs serving the region.

The meeting will also review progress on advancing some of IRUMís key initiatives, including (1) a plan for remaking the regionís three commuter rail lines into a regional rail system, with frequent service, integrated fares and through running at Penn Station, (2) our vision42 plan for an auto-free light rail boulevard on 42nd Street and (3) a four-year Livable City Transport plan for NYC. The meeting will be from 6-8pm at 111 John Street, 2nd Floor (a bike-friendly building, just below the South Street Seaport, near Water Street). An RSVP is not required but is recommended, at For more information on IRUM visit our website:,

Happy New Year!
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.


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

EarthDay NY 2015: Brought to you by Toyota

NY 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


The Inexorable Logic of Urban Auto Use Reduction

Auto-Free NY Meetings, 2016:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 6-8pm
New Directions in Transportation Planning for NY-NJ-CT
Gerry Bogacz, Director of Planning, NYMTC
TA's office, 111 John Street, 2nd Fl., NYC

Tuesday, February 16, 6-8pm
topic to be announced
Speaker to be announced
time and location to be announced

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  |
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