Light Rail
Regional Rail
Penn Station
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. 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!

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.

• The City's plaNYC 2030
Lower Manhattan
Light Rail in NYC
Regional Rail Working Group

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

How the NY Times Covers NYC
Previous "Letters from George"
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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
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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.
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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!

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
July 1, 2017      

Our Summer Walking Tour, July 2017:
vision42: 42nd Street from Grand Central to the East River

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

Welcome to our popular Summer Walking Tours for 2017! Our July Auto-Free NY/vision42/regional rail working group meeting will be on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 6-8pm. It will be a walking tour of the eastern half of the vision42 proposal for a river-to-river auto-free light rail boulevard on 42nd Street.

The tour will begin promptly at 6pm by assembling in the public seating area in the atrium of 120 Park Avenue (formerly the Phillips Morris Building) at the SW corner of Park Avenue at 42nd Street.

Highlights will be the notable collection of landmarked buildings in the corridor, the bumper blocks in the Lower Level of Grand Central Terminal where rail advocates would like to see the Penn Station-GCT connection link to existing tracks and platforms at GCT, and a quick review of the streetcar and elevated railway lines that once ran along and intersected 42nd Street. A brief discussion will cover the concerns about the massive East Midtown rezoning proposal soon to be acted upon by the NY City Council.

Toward the East the tour will continue past the well-to-do enclave of Tudor City and envision a suitably ceremonial approach to the UN, concluding (time permitting) at the East River Ferry Terminal at 35th Street and the FDR Drive.

An rsvp is not required but is highly recommended, at :

Our August tour will take place Tuesday, August 15, 2017; details will be announced.

Also note: Hearings on the Hudson Tunnel project will be held, beginning on August 1, 2017. For more details please see: P0937

Building just the 2.7 mile two-track tunnel segment of this project is now projected to cost a staggering $11.2 billion. Another $1.7 billion would be needed for repairing the existing tunnels. This is fifty percent more than previously estimated! Other, less costly options were rejected by USDOT and NJTransit.

See you on Tuesday, July 18, 2017!

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.

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

The Inexorable Logic of Urban Auto Use Reduction

Auto-Free NY Meetings, 2017:

Tuesday, July 18, 6-8pm
Walking tour of vision42 - from GCT to the East River

Atrium of 120 Park Ave., 6pm sharp (SW corner, Park Ave at 42nd St.)

Tuesday, August 15, 6-8pm
Location TBA

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  |
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