War on Cars Watch for February 6, 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!

Since the Watch was on vacation the Holiday Season the dates for this blog are from January 31–February 5, 2019.

Here are some National News Headlines concerning the War on Cars:

New leadership in the Congressional Transportation Committees are talking about a national vehicles miles tax possibility…especially for trucks: Truckers Could Be Focus of Vehicle-Miles Traveled Tax Proposals in the US Congress

The NTSB came out this week on their biannual recommendations for Congress:

The Nation stuck their foot into the commuting debate with this rant: In an Unequal America, Getting to Work Can Be Hell

Curbed.com and USA Streetsblog both had their say on supporting congestion pricing…Ugh!

About time: US Supreme Court to weigh in on civil asset forfeiture

Our friend Joe Cadillic at the MassPrivatel Blog got this piece posted to ZeroHedge.com:  Appeals Court: Police Don’t Need a Reason to Place Americans on ‘Suspicious Person’ List

Why does this title sound so ridiculous: Little Vehicles (including E-Scooters) Can Help Heal Car-Centric Cities (War on Cars Watch). Here is another silly post about scooters:  After ‘The Year of the Scooter,’ The Micromobility Movement is Part Revolution and Part Gold Rush.

Streetsblog USA complains again about Ridesharing: All the Bad Things about Uber and Lyft in One Simple List 

AAA actually has a good idea here: The names car companies use to describe their high-tech features sound like gibberish

Arizona

El Mirage, AZ fixes driving records of those wrongly cited in illegal speed trap

California

Statewide

Counties

Cities

Court Cases

Colorado

Hawaii

Massachusetts

Maryland

Mississippi

Seems the state is working against civil asset forfeiture reform!

North Dakota

Ohio

South Carolina

Big series on Civil Asset Forfeiture in SC—hopefully the conclusions of this journalistic investigation will push reform in the state.

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Washington State

Headlines from around the World with a War on Cars Watch Focus

Editor’s Note: The NMA does not condone violence of any kind to protest traffic issues.

Canada

France

Germany

Spain

United Kingdom

This week’s Commentary from National Motorists Association Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

VMT taxes for any vehicles need to be opposed, whether voluntary or mandatory. Once the double-dip with fuel taxes and the fortunes to be made for the vendors are in place, they will be VERY hard to retract.

Truck speed limiters and differential truck speed limits are both anti-safety and should not be allowed.

Similarly, congestion pricing needs to be opposed because it is too regressive for lower income workers who have fixed work hours requiring travel during rush hour times.

When Road Diets remove two lanes of traffic on busy collectors and arterials to create bike lanes, it WILL create congestion at peak hours and likely cause diversion of some drivers to less safe smaller streets. Proponents’ claims to the contrary are almost always false. Look for the proliferation of scooters to increase the demand for more bike lanes.

Uber & Lyft are creating more congestion in many places and IF they ever come, so will autonomous vehicles. It is a LOT more pleasant to take an Uber ride than a bike ride in rain, cold or extreme heat.

Colorado, like Florida and Texas will try again to ban red-light cameras. Success requires not to have a few legislators block the bills from getting out of committees to the flow where they will likely pass.

15 mph speed limits on most US residential streets built for 25 or 30 is utter nonsense.

Bills to limit civil forfeiture are gaining support in several states.  We support this trend strongly.

Fight speed trap tickets in Ohio – and everywhere else – to make the rackets unprofitable.

AAA falsely claims to support proper speed limits, but in reality supports the lowest possible numbers painted on the signs to enable for-profit speed traps and unfair insurance premium surcharges to safe drivers to increase AAA profits. Fifty years ago, AAA was the friend of the motorist, but that stance died with the enormous growth of the for-profit speeding ticket industry beginning in the 1970s.

Many countries in Europe promoted the sales of diesel vehicles and kept the fuel cheaper than gasoline with different tax rates. Now many places want to ban or outrageously tax perfectly good condition diesel vehicles that have many more years of useful transportation life left. Rules that retroactively punish people for buying diesels that the governments promoted are simply wrong.

Spain, like France, wants to drastically increase revenues from under-posted speed traps which target mostly safe drivers. Using drones will make this money grab truly vicious.

Do read the British article from our counterparts in the Alliance of British Drivers.  They have the same issue in the UK.

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