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
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.
- New NAFTA Would Boost U.S. Economy, but Fewer Cars Would Be Built Here (and they’ll cost more to buy)
- Millennials are the demographic most open to self-driving cars, but not by much
- Which States Have the Most Car Trouble?
- Can Removing Lanes From a Busy Street Actually Make Traffic Better? (War on Cars Watch) This article is pure BS…pushing cars to other streets is absolutely not the answer here!
- Study: Driver Behavior Shows Greater Need for Protected Bike Lanes (War on Cars Watch) but can we afford it…that is the question?
- Opinion: How Do Drivers Not see that they’re the Worst? (War on Cars Watch)
- Civic crowdfunding reduces the risk of ‘bikelash’ (War on Cars Watch)
- Scooter Trips Surpass Docked Bike Share for the First Time
- What the Lyft, Uber IPOs say about ride-hailing’s future
- Study: Electric Pedal-Assist Bikes Can Get People out of their Cars (could but will it?)
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.
- Inside the Push to Tear Down an Oakland, CA Freeway (War on Cars Watch)
- San Diegans Protest Over Electric Scooters
- Boulder nonprofit rolling out “cash-out” program to encourage employees not to drive to work
- Zoning and Pollution: Preserving Denver Neighborhood Character While Increasing Density Can Get People out of Cars (War on Cars Watch)
- ‘Police ahead’ sign thwarts Florida deputies’ speed trap—here is one way to protest against unfair traffic enforcement!
- Oh Robeline, Louisiana: Why Can’t I Drive Through? Speed Traps Bill HB457 –This is a funny bill…trying to name this town Robeline as a speed trap city!
- On Maryland roads, pedestrian deaths are up, but overall accident fatalities are down (Vision Zero Watch)
- Boston streets safer since city launched an effort to curb accidents, but work remains (Vision Zero Watch)
- Massachusetts: Judge tosses evidence in OUI stop by drug recognition expert –this is important for all motorists!
- Major parking changes happening in Minneapolis
- With reconstruction, Minneapolis looks to a safer, more vibrant Hennepin Avenue (Road Diet)
- New York City Officials Were a No-Show At Monday Night’s Massive Jackson Heights Town Hall (War on Cars Watch)
- Viewpoint: The Numbers Don’t Back Up NYC Mayor de Blasio’s Reason for E-Bike Crackdown
- New York City: Panic among small businesses as DOT plans Morris Park Avenue traffic pattern changes
- NYC would get 100 new miles of protected bike lanes each year under the proposed bill (War on Cars Watch)
- NYC DOT Has Set a Date to Fix the Infamous ‘Second Avenue Gap’
- NYC Unveils Steps to Meet Its Commitment to Faster Bus Speeds
- Everyone’s got a ‘special reason’ not to pay NYC congestion-pricing tolls
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 & Washington
- Oregon and Washington launch new clean energy initiatives to reduce fossil fuel dependence –another get us out of our car initiative!
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.
- Ridership Jumped 400% When Seattle Protected a Bike Lane (costs $12 million per mile for this kind of road diet in Seattle)
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.