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!
NMA Communications Director Shelia Dunn compiles the list, with commentary from NMA Member Michael Jabbra (marked with an MJ). NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker gives us his considerable wisdom at the end of this week’s list.
Information from June 26 – July 2, 2019
- Supreme Court Affirms Police Can Order Blood Drawn From Unconscious DUI Suspects
- US Senate bill would require used-car dealers to repair recalled vehicles
- The FBI Hopes These Cute Puppies Will Distract You From Unconstitutional Civil Asset Forfeitures
- Headlight Ratings Continue to Show How Automakers Price People Out of Basic Safety
- SAFE Vehicles Rules to Put Americans in Safer Cars
- The tech already exists to electronically enforce speed limits on new cars
- States Move Toward Digital License Plates
- Let’s Reconsider Traffic Enforcement
MJ: Three cheers for Randy Petersen! Yes, a lot of laws aren’t really about public safety; they’re about raising revenue and allowing politicians to play “gotcha” with each other and the rest of us. This article mentions some of the reasons why I left law enforcement.
National Mobility as a Service or MaaS Stories
- Open Mobility Foundation seeks to improve transportation with open source tools
- US cities are joining forces to figure out what the hell to do with all these scooters
- Why Cities Are Writing Their Own Standards For Scooters and AVs
- Can Waze Convince Commuters to Carpool Again?
- E-bikes encounter rocky road to approval despite popularity
- E-scooter use explodes across U.S., but bikes holding their own
- Transit agencies turn to Uber for the last mile
- Speeding motorists from European countries escaping prosecution in Britain due to quirk in EU laws
- Britain’s new net zero emissions target of 2050 becomes law
- Watch Out, Uber. Berlin, Germany Is The New Amazon For Transportation (With Lower Fares)
- Ireland: ‘We want to force private motorists out of their cars’
MJ: Sheesh. The Taosieach (Prime Minister) says that the approach will be to “nudge” people out of their cars. The “nudge” notion of not forcing people to do something (or stop doing something) via taxation has been around for a long time. However, “nudge” has a way of becoming “shove.” Concern about pollution has become hysteria.
MJ: Drugs and alcohol and vehicles are a dangerous mix. That said, I really don’t know how this sensor would tell the difference between a passenger and a driver – or a drunk driver asking someone who is sober to blow on the alcohol sensors. This is really about more Big Brother in cars. And of course, speed limiters to limit everyone to 10 miles per hour in the name of safety and carbon emission reduction won’t be far behind. “Safety” is just a Trojan horse for control.
- California’s Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force Holds First Meeting (Vision Zero Watch)
- Los Angeles tests wavy bike barrier to protect cyclists from passing cars
- San Francisco needs congestion pricing — and not just for downtown driving
District of Columbia and Virginia
- Viewpoint: These “road diets” would make streets safer and barely affect traffic. Why do people oppose them? (Vision Zero Watch)
MJ: Why do people oppose road diets? Because they really do make life harder for drivers! Road diets don’t “barely” affect traffic; they greatly affect traffic! Please note that Washington D.C. has rain, snow, and hot, humid summers. Many people won’t be interested in riding bicycles under such conditions. Once again, it’s anti-car ideology over practicality.
- West end of Pennsylvania Avenue NW could be redesigned to include protected bike lanes
- Judge Orders DC Police Start Collecting Racial Data About Stops
MJ: What planet is Governor Ige living on? He certainly hasn’t bothered to read the report of his state auditor. It really is time for civil asset forfeiture to go. Governor, ending civil asset forfeiture won’t make you soft on crime. It will make it easier for you to govern in a manner more consistent with the Fourth Amendment. Did you forget what that was? Read it here.
- Potential Arterial Road Diet: Des Moines could sacrifice speed for safety, parking on north side’s Euclid Avenue
New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts
- New Hampshire Crash that killed 7 motorcyclists raises questions on how states share driver information
- Massachusetts RMV Chief departure is a good start
- Corey Johnson Wants to ‘Break the Car Culture’ in New York City. What Does That Mean? (War on Cars Watch)
- Op-Ed: To Meet New York’s New Climate Law, We’ll Have To Break the Car Culture (War on Cars Watch)
MJ: Left unmentioned was (again) the fact that a lot of people might not want to ride or walk in adverse weather, and that people might be hauling kids, cargo, or the elderly. She also didn’t bother to mention more law enforcement on public transit; one reason people drive is because they feel unsafe in public transit.
- Cycling groups call Orangetown’s single file law unenforceable
- New York: Scarsdale Village Installs New Pay by Phone App for Parking and New Parking Enforcement Technology for …
- New York City: Judge Halts City’s Transit Plan for Manhattan’s 14th Street
- New York City: 14th Street busway supporters blast lawsuit as ‘ignorant’
- Oregon passes version of “Idaho Stop” law that allows bike riders to treat stop signs as yields (War on Cars Watch)
- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Expands Road-Usage Charge Program
MJ: Road infrastructure maintenance money has to be raised somehow. I could get behind a vehicle mileage tax only if it just showed how many miles were traveled. Not where, or when, or how often – that would be Big Brother monitoring our movements. This would be a way for electric vehicle drivers to pay their share instead of just having road maintenance dumped on those of us who can’t afford a shiny new electric vehicle.
- What Makes Houston So Attractive For Driverless Delivery?
- Data From Court Documents Shows Texas Law Enforcement Playing Small-Ball Forfeiture, Not Doing Much To Stop Drug Trafficking
Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker
If electronically limited speeds per the posted limits actually get implemented, look for massive increases in congestion, tailgating, dangerous two-lane passing, and other negatives.
The officer in Let’s Reconsider Traffic Enforcement is precisely correct. Most traffic enforcement is unnecessary for safety and exists primarily as a for-profit activity.
Rational and uniform rules for scooters are desperately needed.
People oppose road diets because they DO cause more congestion, longer delays, and some diversion of traffic to roughly parallel minor streets that were never designed for the high volumes on collector and arterial streets.
Unfortunately, there is a good chance that local radar will be approved in Pennsylvania. It will make almost every town and county a border-to-border speed trap wherever posted limits are less-safely and improperly set at least 10 mph lower than the safest 85th percentile speeds.
Many cyclists already ignore traffic devices like stop signs and red lights. Making it legal for them to do so is a wrongheaded idea.