Wiki Wednesday: Car-Free in NYC

If you live in New York City, chances are you’ve already done your part this Earth Day with a car-free commute to work. As this week’s featured Streetswiki article by DianaD reminds us, vehicle ownership in the five boroughs is far less common than in most areas of the U.S. — even in relatively auto-centric Staten Island, where 18 percent of households are car-free.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, only 8% of
American households do not own a car. Vehicle ownership is strongly
related to distance traveled. People in households with at least one
vehicle travel twice far as those in households without a vehicle. They
also use a car for more than 90% of their trips, while those without a
vehicle travel on foot or via transit 57% of the time. Households with
a vehicle walk or take public transit for only 1% and 8% of their
trips, respectively.

In addition to a more pedestrian-friendly street grid than most Americans enjoy, most New Yorkers owe their car-freedom, of course, to the MTA. However, even as the city looks to expand sustainable transportation options to complement its overworked mass transit system, the majority of its citizens remain at the mercy of motoring class lawmakers who spew anti-MTA vitriol like so much noxious CO2.

It would have been nice this April 22 to wake up to headlines announcing that the Fare Hike Four and their ilk had come to realize that they could, and should, promote a healthy transit system while reducing congestion and pollution. Unfortunately, news that good only comes on April 1.


Opposing the Move NY Plan Does No Favors for Southeast Queens

Four highways encircle New York’s 27th City Council district, a largely African-American section of southeast Queens: the Grand Central Parkway on the north, the Van Wyck Expressway on the west, the Southern State Parkway on the south, and the Cross Island Parkway on the east. Highways girdle the transportation perspective of the 27th District’s Council […]

Enticing Car-Lite Households to Take the Next Step

The city of Portland is really blazing trails with parking-free housing near transit corridors. As we reported before, many Portlanders have seized on the opportunity for more affordable housing and chosen to live in developments without any car parking. Still, many Portlanders who live in transit-oriented developments own cars, and those cars can take up a […]
We all pay for the status quo of free car access to the most crowded parts of the city.

The Unbearable Hassle of Carpooling From Eastern Queens

There is no right to drive for free within New York City limits. What we do have is a transit system where the poorest have to pay more per trip than the richest, and where people forgo reasonable transit options and the slight inconvenience of carpooling to clog streets with their polluting single-occupancy vehicles.