By Shelia Dunn, NMA Communications Director
This blog is a collaboration between the National Motorists Association and the Keep the US Moving (KUSM) group written and curated by NMA Communications Director Shelia Dunn (with some guest authors as indicated). The KUSM weekly blog focuses on road diets, traffic calming, and programs such as Vision Zero and Complete Streets.
The NMA and the KUSM believe that it is important to include stories that oppose our viewpoint. We try to indicate those as needed.
We would love to hear from you about the Keep the US Moving Blog. Please feel free to comment below the post and find additional resources to fight road diets below. If you are concerned about road diets in your area, please contact the NMA, email@example.com or connect with KUSM at KeepTheUSMoving@gmail.com and find additional information on their website at https://www.keeptheusmoving.com/.
NYC Mayor Caves into Big Bike and City Council—100 Miles will now ban cars in NYC: Big Bike Works its Plan
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had some legitimate reasons to keep streets open to vehicular traffic. His biggest reason was that he simply does not have enough police to enforce the car ban due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the NYC council led by speaker and anti-car advocate Corey Johnson voted to open the streets. As late as Friday, de Blasio was holding fast, but then the council said they would get the Governor involved. The Mayor caved on Monday and actually is giving up 25 more miles than the council even wanted. Big Bike has a plan, and they are sticking to it!
One of our supporters, Chicago Jay, has been telling us he sees the same issue happening there. Big Bike and other anti-car folks are pressuring the Mayor to open streets. That’s already happened in Denver, and Big Bike has already started the push to make the car ban from those same streets permanent.
After reading the April 28th Streetsblog Chicago whining about why Chicago can’t be part of the “Slow Streets” Movement, Chicago Jay produced this lengthy list of reasons why cars should not be banned from streets during the COVID-19 Crisis.
As usual, Streetsblog gave ZERO thought for the REAL WORLD consequences. Here are some reasons we all need to understand why a car ban in Chicago (and any other city) is a terrible idea:
- Car owners would have to find parking elsewhere near their home, which is impossible in many neighborhoods in Chicago.
- Residents would be unable to drive on their own streets, when going to/from their homes for essential activities.
- Taxis and rideshare vehicles would be unable to pick up/drop off passengers.
- USPS, FEDEX, UPS, Amazon, and other mail/package delivery services would be unable to access homes and businesses.
- Businesses would be unable to use the streets for deliveries or shipments of stock/materials/supplies.
- Grocery, food, and pharmacy drivers would not be able to maintain the lifeline for those unable to leave their homes.
- Contractors would be unable to access homes or businesses to make necessary repairs.
- The city of Chicago would have to pay millions, under the terms of the parking lease, for meters no longer accessible to drivers.
- Holders of residential parking permits would be cheated out of their money, as their permits become worthless (teeing up the next driver class action suit against the city).
- Disabled residents would be prisoners in their homes, with no vehicle access to their residences.
- Most importantly, a car ban would outlaw the safest means of transport in a dense, pandemic infected city.
Big bike is taking full advantage of the COVID-19 Crisis. Numerous posts have described what cities should do after the pandemic, and it does not involve motorists and their vehicles.
- Don’t Let US Driving Levels Rebound After COVID-19 (War on Cars Watch)
- A ‘different world’ awaits transit on the other side of coronavirus
- New (im)mobility: Can we avoid the private car revenge?
- War on Cars Watch California: Putting the Brakes on Traffic and Density in Pasadena
- San Francisco Picks 12 ‘Slow Streets’ (War on Cars Watch)
- Opinion: Coronavirus shutdowns are making it undeniably clear how toxic our car culture is (War on Cars Watch)
- War on Cars Watch: How cities are reshaping streets to prepare for life after lockdown
- COVID-19 could forever change how we travel—for better or worse
- War on Cars Watch Massachusetts: What will be the big changes in Boston traffic and transportation after coronavirus?
The War on Cars has not stopped due to the COVID-19 Crisis. Here are eight other headlines from the past two weeks:
- California Prepares to Shift Planning Focus from Car Delay to Induced Travel (War on Cars Watch)
- War on Cars Watch California: Beverly Hills council votes down can ban on some streets
- What Los Angeles’ Budget Cuts Mean For Street Safety Projects (Vision Zero Watch)
- Road Diet Alert Massachusetts: Bus-Only Lanes Coming to Charles River Dam Road between Boston and Cambridge
- New York Times writer blasted online by transit boosters for buying a car (War on Cars Watch)
- Road Diet Watch Pennsylvania: Harrisburg needs to shrink State Street without delaying commuters (Vision Zero Watch)
- Dallas: Neighborhood Cannibalism–A Simple Street Closure Turned Oak Cliff Against Itself
- Houston: Coronavirus puts brake on Post Oak bus rapid transit testing until stay-at-home order lifted
Check out the NMA Facebook Page called the War on Cars Watch! If you are interested in joining the closed group, follow the directions on the page. If you would like to know more about the National Motorists Association, check out our website at motorists.org. Also, if you would like to contact the NMA with a question or a link, feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep the US Moving is a grassroots organization dedicated to publicizing the detrimental effects of arterials road diets. We connect people who want to share experiences and information to help their communities craft truly safer roads. KUSM has a very active and closed Facebook group. Connect with them at KeepTheUSMoving@gmail.com and find additional information on their website at https://www.keeptheusmoving.com/.
Here are a few NMA Blog Posts that might interest you:
Road Diets and Traffic Calming
- All Traffic is Local: A Look at Force-Fed Road Diets
- The Problem with Road Diets
- 10 Reasons to Fight against Road Diets in your Community
Vision Zero and Complete Streets
- Vision Zero Invasion of the Car Itself
- Do Vision Zero Programs equal more Traffic Accidents?: NMA E-Newsletter #559
- Level of Service: Measuring Traffic Congestion
- Transportation Engineers Debate Vision Zero, Part 1: NMA E-Newsletter #563
- Transportation Engineers Debate Vision Zero, Part 2: NMA E-Newsletter #564
- An Appropriate Balance for Whom?: NMA E-Newsletter #552
If you would like to keep track of the many issues currently involved with the War on Cars and road diets, take a daily peek at the NMA’s Driving News Feed or subscribe to Driving News Daily, a five times per week email.
If you would like to support the work of the National Motorists Association, please join today.
Thank you for reading the NMA’s Keep the US Moving Blog!