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 December 20, 2018 through January 8, 2019.
Here are some National News Headlines concerning the War on Cars:
Study: Underposted Speed Limits Diminish Safety – This is something that the NMA has been talking about for decades…need more studies like these.
Fewer Americans bike to work despite new trails, lanes and bicycle share programs – So why do we keep paying for these lanes…if we build them, they don’t seem to be coming and at $12M a mile (as in Seattle) this seems too expensive considering all the other infrastructure issues we have right now.
Drivers Buzz Cyclists Because They Believe We Don’t Belong on the Road according to two new studies – do any of you buzz cyclists—this study seems a bit biased…don’t you think?
City of Damascus Speed Trap Sanctions Lifted, Traffic Enforcement Resumes – what a city saga? Do you think this tiny town has learned its lesson—time will tell!
Court Rejects Challenge to California Police Transparency Law – Good News for Motorists!
Real ID hits a bump in California, but if you already have yours, don’t panic. It will work – The state DMV was already going to have to pump out 1M per month and now this…no wonder the head of the DMV resigned late last year. Yikes!
Commentary from CA Member Michael Jabbra:
Denver City Council Unanimously Rejects Red-Light Cameras, Photo Radar Van Expansion –This is due to a council member who went out and time these intersections himself and realized that the yellows were all too short…great news! Now, let’s rid the city and the state of Colorado of automated traffic enforcement entirely?
District of Columbia
Panel Denies Union Bid to Weigh In on Chicago Police Reforms – Great News for Motorists!
Editorial: NY Governor Cuomo vetoes ‘problematic’ Toll Payer Protection Act, but cashless system is still shaky –too bad, this bill would have given much needed relief for those using cashless tolls!
Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker
The Penn State University study echoes what we have said for years – to post speed limits at or close to the 85th percentile speed for the smoothest & safest traffic flow plus high voluntary compliance. The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices says to post within 5 mph of the 85th percentile speed and that should be what we defend as the best practice. Posting more than 5 mph below the 85th speed can reduce safety and enable for-profit speed traps that no one should tolerate.
Cyclist and pedestrian lobbies have had great influence with city councils, often because the motorists don’t show up to object to controls that strangle traffic on our collector & arterial roads. Show up at your city meetings when proposals to damage traffic flow on our major streets.
Speed trap cities like Damascus will continue ticketing until the posted limits are fixed.
Some Road Diet proposals have been defeated or modified IF MOTORISTS AND MERCHANTS SHOW UP TO OBJECT. Silence on these issues means defeat in most cases.
The Denver review of yellow intervals on lights might lead to a real victory.
Issuing tickets with lower construction zone speed limits in Cohoes, NY before the construction started is outright larceny that no one should tolerate.
It is good to see Pennsylvania venues that depend upon part of the $450 million a year stolen from Turnpike revenues begin to hurt. If our suit prevails, the state will have to rethink transit funding. I just paid a $19.25 toll on the PA Turnpike that should be more like $10 if we win.
Vision Zero is a powerful emotional appeal, but note that zero traffic fatalities is not a real goal so long as there are moving vehicles. Could we reduce fatalities? Sure, but the first thing to do is to get profits out of traffic laws and their enforcement – so officials and police can focus entirely on safety, not on ticket revenue which corrupt the goals and practices.