The Future of New York City Is Car-Free

Ten years ago, bike share was a radical idea. Talking about Times Square sans traffic could get you labeled an extremist. A no-cars allowed day in Manhattan? That would get you laughed out of City Hall.

But today, all those wild ideas are real: Summer Streets, Citi Bike, and Time Square’s public plazas are all beloved features of the city, defended by New Yorkers and inspiring tourists every day to go home and ask more of the streets in their hometowns.

Now Transportation Alternatives is looking for the next great radical idea. It’s a campaign that we’re calling Streetopia — and it’s about the future of New York City’s streets. It’ll take all our idealism, imagination, and dreamer-tendencies to get there — plus a few hundred thousand fewer automobiles. And it starts with you, and a single question: What kind of street do you want to live near?

Check out the commonsense proposals and utopian visions of our next leap forward:

First, Meet the Peopleway.
Then, learn how renegade activists alter their streets with The Tactical Urbanist Toolbox.
Plan New York’s future with Next Gen Streets.
And in Citizens of Streetopia, see if your vision lines up with the opinions of average New Yorkers.

What does Streetopia mean to you? Is it car free, D.I.Y., walking-speed, or practical enough to win an election? No matter what you decide, one thing is for sure: There are fewer cars on New York’s horizon. Hello, Streetopia!

Voices of Streetopia

“Imagine being able to hear the birds because there’s no roar of engines; business districts humming with conversation, not honking; sirens tuned to a lower decibel because they don’t need to compete with car din. Millions of hours lost to commuting would be ours to do with what we wish. Instead of fighting traffic, we would live our lives.”

— Shin-pei Tsay of Gehl Institute

“Bike lanes and public plazas are immensely popular with New Yorkers, in part because they’re a preview of New York City’s car-free future. We need leaders who aren’t averse to change, because there is so much to gain, and so many people ready for tomorrow.”

— Doug Gordon of

“Let’s think outside the box about reclaiming space for people. From expanding pedestrian plazas, to rethinking how we deliver goods, to bicycle lanes that reach our entire urban metropolis, I see a future where people can commute, run errands, and live their lives without the need of an automobile.”

— Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
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