War on Cars Watch for July 3, 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!

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


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


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.




District of Columbia and Virginia

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.


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.






New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts

New York

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.



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.





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.

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