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. 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
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
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
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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:
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

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). Other booths helping people to avoid public transportation were Lyft, Zipcar, Enterprise Rent-a-car, etc. There was one car-free booth, sponsored by City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez. Photo: Wayne Fields

 Letter from George
April 1, 2016      

Earth Day 2016 and our Auto-Free NY Four-Year Plan

Dear Friends of Sustainable Transport:

Some 26 years after Auto-Free New York unveiled its Four Year Plan: "Fewer Cars, A more Livable City" during a massive street festival in an auto-free Sixth Avenue on Earth Day 1990, elected officials in NYC are beginning to take action. NY City Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez introduced legislation calling on Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 2016, to become a car-free day. He asked city residents and visitors to pledge to take mass transit or walk on Earth Day and leave their cars at home. In announcing this event, Councilmember Rodriguez said "While Robert Moses may turn in his grave, we want to celebrate all this movement stands for and we think this symbolic gesture will help." He and his colleagues concede the car-free movement will start slowly, but they see it gaining traction in the future. Other major cities, including Paris, have had similar programs.

Our next monthly meeting of the Auto-Free NY/vision42 working group will be held three days before Earth Day, on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 6-8pm at the Transportation Alternatives offices. We will celebrate the designation of this as car-free day, after all of our years of campaigning for an Auto-Free New York. The event will be a "working" meeting, where we will go over progress made and challenges that remain to reduce motor vehicle travel in our crowded city. The transport plan we produced in 1990 remains an important guideline - a collection of some 15 "carrot-and-stick" interrelated strategies that, taken together, can reduce vehicle-miles of travel in the Manhattan Central Business District by 20 percent and citywide by 5 precent.

Over time, a number of our members have offered useful suggestions for updating the plan, and the meeting will be an opportunity for us to consider these revisions. If you have not done so, please review the plan and bring your own suggestions for making the plan more effective. The current edition of the plan can be found at:

The meeting will also review efforts to advance other IRUM initiatives like advancing vision42 a plan for an auto-free light rail boulevard on 42nd Street - and a plan for remaking the commuter rail lines serving NYC into a coordinated regional rail system with frequent service, integrated fares and through-running at Penn Station:

Finally, we hope to feature some late-breaking news about the city’s initial effort to celebrate a car-free NYC. The Transportation Alternatives offices (a bike-friendly building) are at 111 John Street in Lower Manhattan. An RSVP is not required but strongly recommended at
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 New York 2016:
Brought to you by Toyota, Mazda
and Enterprise Rent-a-Car

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

The Inexorable Logic of Urban Auto Use Reduction

Auto-Free NY Meetings, 2016:

Tuesday, April 19, 6-8pm
Earth Day NY 2016 and Car-Free Day
TA's office, 111 John Street, 2nd Fl., NYC

Tuesday, May 17, 6-8pm
Topic to be announced
TA's office, 111 John Street, 2nd Fl., NYC

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  |
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