War on Cars Watch for January 31, 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 23 – 29, 2019.

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

International

Anti-Car Propaganda

Police DUI Enforcement

Speed Limits

Yellow Vest Protests Continue

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

California

So many stories this past week concerning the War on Cars in California, in particular Los Angeles. Comments in the California Section by Los Angeles based NMA Member Michael Jabbra.

Bike Lanes and Road Diets

Congestion Pricing and Other Toll Issues

Mobility as a Service or MAs

Racial Profiling and Police Transparency

Colorado

Florida

Hawaii

Illinois

Kentucky

Massachusetts

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

North Carolina

New York

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Tennessee

Virginia

Washington State

Commentary from National Motorists Association Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

It is not at all unusual for “Road Diets” and other anti-car-freedom measures to create serious problems.

A VMT road funding system will create a massive, expensive, hackable privacy-killing database of everyone’s travels. Fuel taxes, including a fair way to tax EVs, are the best. They are proportional to use, encourage the use of fuel-efficient vehicles, and cost only about 1% of revenues to collect. Only stupidity and cowardice on the part of legislators prevent correctly-calculated fuel taxes at the levels to support our roads.

More than 50% and an average of more like 75% of commuters drive to work. In a democracy, shouldn’t they have priority?

Canada is more draconian than most states with traffic laws and enforcement.  Members need extra care driving in Canada.

LA’s proposal for a carpool threshold of 5 occupants is utter nonsense. There will be almost no qualifying vehicles, but perhaps that is the intended for-profit racket to drastically increase toll revenues.

Congestion pricing will be a continuing battle for us. It is HIGHLY regressive to lower income workers who have fixed working hours that mandate many travel in the rush hours. Members should oppose such plans by contacting their elected officials.

Sometimes discrimination in traffic stops is due to overly-strict traffic laws that make violators of far too many safe drivers. If the 85th percentile speed for the safest posted limit is 45 mph, but the street is posted at 35, 30, or 25 – police can stop the vast majority of drivers on the pretense it is for speeding. Improper traffic laws facilitate profiling for officers who act improperly.

Giving Denver’s Vision Zero program a “passing grade” with increased fatalities is the sort of utter nonsense that is common with zealots who care nothing for the facts.

Email I sent to the Saugus police chief and the reporter about new 25 limits:

I wonder if Saugus officials know about the speed studies done in Boston by the IIHS when the posted limit was reduced from 30 to 25 mph. 

The mean speeds were 24.8 mph before the change and 24.8 after, for a net change of 0.0 mph. 

The 85th percentile speeds (speed at or below which you find 85% of the drivers) were 31.0 mph before the change and 31.0 after, for another net change of 0.0 mph.

Without engineering changes to the actual roadways, posted limits have almost no effect on the actual travel speeds. And no city ever has enough officers to enforce lower limits 24/7/365 that drivers do not find necessary for safety. People drive at the speeds they find to be safe and comfortable – and which ARE safe and comfortable almost all the time.  85% of the drivers will instinctively choose the best and safest speed limit to post more accurately than any number chosen arbitrarily. 

See our website for a lot more information.

Whenever governments like Boston withhold accident data – smell a rat.

Civil forfeiture issues will be in the news until the for-profit robberies end.

Ticket or traffic stop quotas should be illegal in every state and those instituting or enforcing them should lose their jobs and be barred from similar future employment.

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Leave a Comment

One Response to “War on Cars Watch for January 31, 2019”

  1. David E. Mapp says:

    Today, New Jersey Governor Murphy signed Antwan’s Law lowering the speed limit on a highway to 25 mph in the vicinity of a school.

    Route 130 is a road that is dangerous to pedestrians. There are generally two to three lanes in each direction of travel. There are concrete medians. However, there are generally no sidewalks, no curbs, no shoulders, no guardrails and inadequate lighting.
    In Burlington, two schools are close to the highway and there is a curfew after ten pm. One night Antwan was out past curfew, walking on the highway because there were no sidewalks. Between 12 and 1 am, he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. And the town responded by closing one lane of travel in each direction. Not just during school hours, but around the clock. And then they appealed to the state to reduce the speed limit from 50 mph to 25 mph. Around the clock. No word on whether the money collected from the extreme enforcement and fines to come will result in increased lighting, pedestrian bridges, sidewalks, curbs or guardrails. We’ve been snooker and hornswaggled.