War on Cars Watch for June 5, 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 May 25-June 4, 2019


Mobility as a Service or MaaS





MJ: The writer of this article did not bother to mention population growth. More people generally means more traffic, although this could be mitigated by better mass transit and more telecommuting. The Vision Zero crowd should encourage telecommuting. This isn’t an option for everyone, but every bit will help reduce traffic and pollution.

MJ: They’re everywhere, and yes, they are frequently just dumped on sidewalks. That makes life harder for another Vision Zero constituency: pedestrians. Of course, the real problem is that Los Angeles is just plain overcrowded.

MJ: Notice that the article didn’t mention whether the bicyclists or pedestrians might be at fault. The automatic assumption is that it’s always the driver’s fault. And as one person quoted in the article said, this will be a hard sell in Los Angeles. People are so used to right-on-red that banning this will be almost impossible to enforce.


District of Columbia


MJ: Nail on the head, Mike! People will choose whatever method of transportation works best for them. It’s called freedom.

MJ: Drivers aren’t the only people who break the law! Gee, what a surprise! Ssshh…don’t tell the Vision Zero crowd that. (They won’t listen anyway.)







New Jersey

New York




Washington State

MJ: Yes, that’s one of the problems about congestion pricing – it may hurt the poor more than the rich. Congestion pricing is just about punishment. Try offering better options first before punishing people for driving. The article is delighted about the revenue-raising potential of congestion pricing schemes. It’s almost as if the War on Cars is really about taxing and monitoring people more than helping them.

Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

I think it is unlikely to design an accurate alcohol detector for all cars at a reasonable price. Many states do not certify the roadside breathalyzers for prosecution; they demand bloodwork or an expensive breath machine reading in a police station.

Many states are limiting civil forfeiture abuses, but federal officials are addicted to the loot so are not backing off their support for taking money from innocent people.

We await some more details on Michigan’s overhaul of how car insurance rates can be calculated. Relief from very high rates has been a LONG time coming.

New York City is being relentless in its car-hater actions to make driving there more frustrating and more expensive. It will be interesting to see if some businesses simply move out of the city.

MANY Texas red-light camera cities are honorably ending their camera rackets and ordering their vendors to remove them. This was a hard-fought win that involved many people and groups for several years. Maybe next year we can try again in Florida.

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