War on Cars Watch for February 27, 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 comes 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 20-26, 2019

(MJ) Folks, there are alternatives to Google Maps – such as paper maps. No IP address, no radio emissions – no tracking by government or advertisers!

(MJ) I work as a first-level helpdesk technician. My coworkers and I get lots of calls every day because a computer did something that it wasn’t supposed to do, or failed to do something that it should have done. At least those computers aren’t controlling vehicles. Computers are machines. They can fail, just like any other machine.  That’s why I have no use for the half-baked notion that computers will magically usher in an era of no pedestrian or driver deaths. Remember, safety is just a Trojan horse for control.


European Transport Safety Council says in-vehicle technology vital to control speeding in Europe –Trucks already have this—Will cars be next?

How will driverless cars, more ride-sharing and more integrated transport systems alter our journeys? (War on Cars Watch) This is from the BBC…Ouch! Our question—who says this is all inevitable?



(MJ) They’d like to tax everyone else who drives too, but even the most dimwitted Los Angeles politicians know that this will not go over well. On the other hand, these days it’s chic to beat up on Uber and Lyft and other ride-sharing services. It’s all about the polls and looking cute on social media.

(MJ) This is a clever way to avoid civilian and law enforcement casualties caused by high speed chases. Let us hope, however, that this does not become used more casually for more mundane traffic or other violations.

No Speed Limit Bill Reaction


District of Columbia



  • Atlanta, GA works to rid off-street parking spaces for new development (War on Cars Watch)





North Dakota

(MJ) Good job! Impaired drivers should be stopped, but DUI checkpoints are just fishing expeditions that tie up traffic and hassle innocent drivers. 

New York





Yikes!: Richmond, VA: Traffic ‘hit and runs’ along Franklin Street bike lane stretch up by nearly 78 percent


Weekly Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

The Supreme Court decision about the seizure of the Land Rover as excessive got very wide press coverage around the country.  I often posted this comment on articles: 

Civil forfeiture without a conviction for a related crime is theft.  PERIOD! All the officials involved should be prosecuted for larceny with resulting jail sentences if convicted. 

This must become the law in every state to end the abusive thefts from those not convicted of crimes.
James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

It has been true for some time that having a cell phone turned on creates a track of your travels. More recently, authorities have discovered new ways to force commercial entities to turn over those records. Personal privacy is under attack faster than opposition can mount defenses, and this might change how some people use their electronic devices – including synching them with the car electronics.

The bike lobby is very powerful, even in the face of declining bike use for commuting in many cities. It is important to fight the theft of car lanes to create bike lanes – the user proportions almost never justify the changes.

www.streetsblog.org runs some of the most anti-car articles and editorials that you could imagine. If your blood pressure is under control and you have time, you might join some other NMA members who make comments to show the other sides of many issues. You don’t have to identify yourself as a member.

There is a proposal in California for two freeway lanes with no posted speed limits. That is unlikely to happen, but they COULD post 85th percentile speed limits that would accomplish the same goals of moving more commuters faster and safer.

North Dakota might join several other states that ban warrantless police roadblocks on fishing expeditions to find a tiny percentage of drivers who have actually done something wrong.

Congestion pricing is discriminatory and regressive. We should always fight those proposals.

Variable speed limits as advisories can be helpful if the algorithms are good. As enforceable limits they are often used as speed traps.

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