AUTO-FREE NEW YORK!
Livable City Plan
Serving NYC since 1989!
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: December 17
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 lower 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
Light Rail in NYC
Regional Rail Working Group
How the NY Times Covers NYC
42nd St. Trolleys - Recent 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)
Life's a Beach for Paris Mayor
Berlin: Transport Politics
How to Join/Donate
Visit These Links
The Five-Minute Activist
Previous "Letters from George"
Remembering Steve Dobrow
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:
Ford Poluta XS
Scion Boxian Smeli-Pootr
Be a patriot - use mass transit!
Above: Not technical issues but conflicting interest groups, vision-free politicians, a disdainful billionaire Mayor and Encroachment Nimbys have conspired to keep a valuable public asset, the LIRR Rockaway Beach line right-of-way, in ruins for decades. View from A train looking north near Howard Beach stop, April 2013. Photo: W Fields. Letter from George
December 1, 2013
Progress Report on
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
Dear Friends of Auto-Free New York:
On the crowded streets of NYC, the never-ending conflict between pedestrians and vehicles greatly diminishes the livability of our city. For years IRUM and Auto-Free NY have called for creating a network of car-free spaces on streets that currently have the greatest pedestrian volumes, as a way to reduce these conflicts (the city has taken baby steps in this direction). Some of these pedestrianized streets would accommodate modern light vehicles, attracting many motorists. All other streets would continue to serve "essential' car and truck traffic. Of course conflicts would still continue, in this scenario. Looking into the future, perhaps there is a way to completely separate vehicles from pedestrians. In early December, Jeff Bezos, who heads Amazon, the on-line shopping behemoth, floated a proposal to develop an armada of goods-carrying drones to speed his firmís deliveries. Could passenger-carrying drones be next? At our November Auto-Free New York/vision42 working group meeting, we heard a presentation about autonomous motor vehicles that would be smart enough to yield to pedestrians on crowded city streets. This month, we will hear from an expert who has tracked the long struggle to advance a completely different transport technology. Lawrence Fabian of Trans21 will present a Progress Report on Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). The concept is to construct a network of elevated guideways that can host small vehicles operating as autonomous taxis, completely avoiding conflicts with pedestrians and surface vehicles. Larry sees the utility for this concept even in a city like NYC with a substantial rail transit network, to serve as a feeder mode, but also to handle the many trips that are not well-served by line-haul rail transit. The PRT concept is not new, having surfaced in the '60s and '70s. It has been derided by rail advocates as forever "just a few years away." Recently, there have been several interesting developments in this mode and Larry will fill us in, with an illustrated presentation, at our December Auto-Free NY/vision42 working group meeting, on Tuesday, December 17. 2013, 6-8pm, at the Transportation Alternatives office at 127 West 26th Street in Manhattan. (An rsvp is not necessary but is recommended, at email@example.com).
Sincerely,P.S. NYC SMOG ALERT UPDATES: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 (800) 535-1345. P.P.S. 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.
George Haikalis, Chair
WISHING TRAFFIC AWAY IS NOT EFFECTIVE
Above: This car-hugger illustration appeared in the New York Times, which has a longstanding grudge against doing serious transit journalism.
Recognize this Grey Box? EZ-Pass and Big Brother Join Up
Remarkable (& Free) Long Island Bike & Hike Map
Scapegoating Bicyclists for NYC's Reckless Motor Vehicle Climate
Upcoming Auto-Free NY
Tuesday, December 17, 6-8pm
Progress Report on Personal Rapid Transit
Speaker: Lawrence Fabian, Trans21
TA Office, 127 West 26th Street, 10th Fl. Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 6-8pm
Topic to be announced
TA Office, 127 West 26th Street, 10th Fl.
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.
Auto-Free New York . . . more than just bollards and paintstripes
Auto-Free New York George Haikalis, Chairman | One Washington Sq. Village, #5D, NYC 10012 | Phone: (212) 475-3394 | firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. Auto-Free New York. This page last updated Dec 8, 2013.