War on Cars Watch for February 20, 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!

Italicized comments throughout the Watch come from NMA Member Michael Jabbra (marked with an MJ) and please read the final comment from James C. Walker, NMA Foundation Executive Director.

Here are the national stories from February 13-19, 2019

Even though is not a direct War on Cars, the news or even the bubble bursting could certainly hurt motorists:

Believe it or Not, Trump put a Huge Tax on Parking Lots – Maybe by Mistake –This means that you may be taxed for your parking perk at your office.

(MJ) Go comment on this – save our parking from the tax-mad anti-car crowd!

Here is a another screed from Streetsblog USA: We Don’t Need More Infrastructure — We Need Congestion Pricing (War on Cars Watch)

(MJ) Naturally, none of the money raised from congestion pricing will be given back to people, including the poor that the politicians claim to be concerned about. It will just be another tax.

Here are some studies from the folks that want to get you out of your car:

(MJ) Wonderful! Let’s get rid of all roads entirely, because then there will be no more congestion! Getting around might be harder, but who cares?

And here is a reminder of All the Major Kinds of Bike Lanes, in Three Minutes (War on Cars Watch)

International

General Motors starts taking orders for its first e-bike – we thought they were a car company?

Sidewalk Toronto faces growing opposition, calls to cancel project (War on Cars Watch) –this project seems like a gas light and know folks are getting wise!

Two more countries proclaim the ending year for the internal combustion engine:

Arizona

California

(MJ) Wow, this would be great! When will it happen in Los Angeles County? I won’t hold my breath. Think of all the speeding ticket money that state and local governments would lose!

(MJ) Everyone of any background gets to suffer in Los Angeles traffic jams and drive on ill-maintained roads. In other words, it’s very equitable already, even if it’s not much fun.

(MJ) Gee, what a surprise. Politicians are so determined to drag people out of their cars that they forget that people just want to be left alone to make their own transportation decisions, which might include mass transit, Uber/Lyft, or – God forbid – driving by themselves in a personally owned internal-combustion car. 

Colorado

The horrors of the mile high state!

District of Columbia

(MJ) At least Washington D.C. is compact and has a good mass transit system.  One can live in D.C. without a car; I did so when I was an intern there many years ago. 

Florida

(MJ) Perhaps Miami-Dade County hopes to make more money by lowering the speed limit to play “gotcha”. “Gotcha” is a time-honored way for governments to make money.

Georgia

Massachusetts

North Dakota

Lawmakers have certainly been busy…

New Mexico

New York

Ohio

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Weekly Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

Congestion pricing is a regressive tax AND a double-dip tax on roads we have already paid for. NMA members need to fight such proposals in their local areas. Note that San Francisco residents reject the idea.

There would indeed be many advantages for society if more people walked and biked to work. The problem is that solution is not realistic for the vast majority of Americans because of distances, weather, and personal preferences that the people will not change. When 70+% of people will commute by car and less than 10% will do so by bicycle, then stealing 2 of 4 travel lanes on main collectors and arterials to make bike lanes is an outrageous demand. NMA members need to fight such proposals in their local areas.

Several countries and many cities in Europe seek to totally ban vehicles with internal combustion engines. Such bans prior to solving the range issue on EVs are nonsense.

Miami and Nashville officials obviously didn’t see the IIHS study in Boston where the reduction in speed limits from 30 to 25 mph caused a MASSIVE reduction in the mean and 85th percentile speeds of …. TAH – DAH …. 0.0 mph.  They will pay a fortune for new signs that accomplish absolutely nothing.

North Dakota dropped a bill to raise freeway and major rural highway speed limits. It is likely that the for-profit speeding ticket industry officials “got to” enough legislators to kill a good bill that would have improved safety and traffic flow.

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