War on Cars Watch for April 24, 2019

Welcome to the War on Cars Watch, a weekly blog to bring together all the stories that affect motorists with regards to street planning such as road diets, and traffic calming as well as programs such as Vision Zero and Complete Streets.

Please read this blog and let us know what you think by commenting below! Check out the NMA’s War on Cars Watch Facebook Page where we feature a story a day!

NMA Communications Director Shelia Dunn compiles the list, and the italicized comments throughout the Watch comes from NMA Member Michael Jabbra (marked with an MJ). NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker gives us his considerable wisdom at the end of this week’s list.

Information from April 17-23, 2019

National

MJ: This one’s tough. I admit to misgivings about allowing officers to draw blood while making stops. E-warrants, at least according to the article, seem like a rubber stamp. Having said that, when I’m driving I don’t want to be endangered by impaired drivers. I don’t want potheads or crackheads or methheads on the road any more than I want drunks on the road. I’m all for ending drug prohibition across the board, but people need to be responsible. Folks, toke up or shoot up at home – and then stay home until you’re sober.

International

MJ: A lot of these cities have congestion charges and other Big Brother surveillance measures. Some of them might also be more compact than Los Angeles, and thus easier to construct mass transit networks. There’s nothing wrong with looking at other cities, states, or countries for ideas; but it would behoove politicians here to be aware that other countries have more of a tradition of heavy-handed government interference and surveillance than ours. Not everything abroad will pass muster here in the United States – nor should it.

California

Colorado

Florida

Illinois

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

Massachusetts

Minnesota

North Carolina

New York

MJ: Great satire! This amply demonstrates why congestion tolls are unpopular. Here’s a hint for the politicians: Let everyone who is sick and tired of traffic jams come up with their own solutions. Some people will take mass transit, some will walk or bike, some will take rideshare, and some might try to telecommute. Let people come up with their own solutions – but don’t punish people by shoving more taxes down their throats. And Mayor DeBlasio should set an example by giving up his SUV. Politicians leaving people alone – it’s a crazy idea, but maybe its time has come.

Oregon

Oregon & Washington

Texas

MJ: Some drivers (and some other people as well) should be in jail, but most traffic violations, especially those that don’t result in death or injury to others, can be handled through citations. Texas law enforcement can do better than this.

Washington

Commentary from James C. Walker, NMA Foundation Executive Director

In most cases, when traffic is driven off the major collectors and arterials designed to carry high traffic loads at efficient speeds and forced into minor more residential streets – the residents and businesses on those minor streets are VERY upset at the number of frustrated commuters that were driven off the major collectors and arterials that were designed for the high traffic loads.

Citizens in many places have used signs and other warnings to reduce the number of safe drivers caught in speed traps.

The final rules on who is exempt from the NYC congestion charge will tell us a lot about who is favored and who isn’t.

Many places in Texas have used traffic enforcement as a for-profit racket – something no one should tolerate.

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