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
- NY Congresswoman Proposes Mandate Requiring All New Cars To Have Blood-Alcohol Detection Capabilities
- State transportation departments need to give up on cars (War on Cars Watch)
- States have changed forfeiture laws; now it’s the federal government’s turn
- Piled-Up Inventory Prompts The U.S. Auto Industry To Cautiously Amp Up Discounts
- Separated Bike Lanes Means Safer Streets, Study Says
- Trump’s Mexico tariffs risk pricing some Americans out of buying a car
- New Car Crash Study Highlights the Irrationality of DUI Laws Based on THC in Drivers’ Blood
Mobility as a Service or MaaS
- Thieves Are Using Car-Sharing Rental Vehicles to Steal People’s Mail, Packages
- Caution, Uber and Lyft, wrecking taxis may turn out to be a multi-company pileup
- Uber and Lyft are betting on self-driving cars to become profitable. But that may not happen, new research from MIT suggests.
- Uber Lowers Barrier to Drive for Those With No Car, Little Cash
- Uber To Ban Low-Rated Passengers
- Lyft Hails Medicare As Next Profitable Ride
- Robo-taxi industry could be worth $2 trillion by 2030
- Canada: Montreal to add 26 km of bike lanes in next two years
- Montreal, Canada Viewpoint: Who wants all these new bike lanes?
- Montreal, Canada Viewpoint: Time to reduce – not increase – number of speed bumps
- Toyota to Invest $550M in China-Based Didi Chuxing
- Volkswagen will introduce robotaxis in China
- Traffic Is Unbearable on Paris’s Beltway. The Fix? Remove Lanes. (War on Cars Watch)
- Alabama Senate passes Anti-Road Rage Act
- Civil asset forfeiture bill passes House, but is it enough?
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.
- California is cracking down on the gig economy like Uber and Lyft
- California bill AB516 bans towing vehicles — and it’s not just for people living in them.
- California: What a Bay Area Dispute says about the Future of Bikeshare
- Glendale, California’s electric-scooter pilot program shelved and, with it, regulations
- Scooters, Scooters Everywhere. Here’s How Los Angeles’ Grand Experiment Is Going
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.
- San Francisco: 20 More Miles of Protected Bike Lanes in the Next Two Years?
- San Francisco to add 11,000 bike shares, quadruple current rate
- San Francisco: More blocks of Valencia Street to get protected bike lanes
District of Columbia
- NMA Florida Advocate Letter-to-the-Editor: Keep government hands out of my pockets to support others’ choice of transportation
MJ: Nail on the head, Mike! People will choose whatever method of transportation works best for them. It’s called freedom.
- Neptune Beach, Florida bucks region’s label for pedestrian and bike danger (Complete Streets Watch)
- Some scooter riders aren’t playing by the rules in downtown Tampa, Florida
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.)
- Michigan Governor and Lawmakers reach deal on auto insurance reform
- Michigan wants more ‘mobility’ technology at 2020 auto show
- Detroit weighs parking fine cuts, but only for residents
- The Missouri Highway Patrol Just Cracked A Big Odometer Fraud Case — Here’s How To Check …
- AG’s office releases Annual Vehicle Stops Report–Racial Profiling Alive and Well
- NY City Council approves two bills to make NYC streets safer (Vision Zero Watch)
- Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduces bill to ‘break the car culture’ in NYC by adding bike, bus lanes
- New York City: Success in allowing cyclists to follow pedestrian signals could mean expansion to 3,494 intersections (Vision Zero Watch)
- New York: Vision Zero Itself Goes on Trial in the Bronx On Wednesday (Vision Zero Watch)
- Brooklyn and Queens, NY are now flush with 1000 of Revel’s shared electric mopeds
- New York City: City To Implement New Bike Lanes On UWS, Hell’s Kitchen (War on Cars Watch)
- NY Viewpoint: Don’t Let New Yellow Turn Lights Slow Down Your Commute
- NYC DOT Presents Bike Lane Proposals to Skeptical Howard Beach Community (War on Cars Watch)
- Viewpoint: NYC Mayor de Blasio Isn’t Perfect on Talking the Vision Zero Talk — Or Walking the Walk (Vision Zero Watch)
- Portland, OR Viewpoint: Changes by city create worse congestion
- TriMet wants to build protected intersections at three locations in east Portland, OR (War on Cars Watch)
- Portland, OR quietly launches mobile location data project with Alphabet’s controversial Sidewalk Labs
- Texas transportation leaders to aim for zero roadway deaths (Vision Zero Watch)
- Bargaining their Badge: Double Standard for Texas Police (video report)
- Texas: State commission approves Brazos County Regional Mobility Authority
- Three Neighborhoods Where Dallas Could Prioritize People Over Cars (War on Cars Watch)
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.