War on Cars Watch for March 27, 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!

Regular comments after articles comes from NMA Communications Director Shelia Dunn and the italicized comments throughout the Watch comes from NMA Member Michael Jabbra (marked with an MJ).

Here are the National Stories from March 21-26, 2019

International Stories

Arizona

California

MJ: Why is Los Angeles so dangerous for cyclists? Ask the cyclists who ride through stop signs and red lights without slowing down; I see that every day. Ask cyclists and drivers who text while driving or riding. Folks, is it really that important? Can’t that message wait?

MJ: Yes, this is true – Lime, Bird, Jump, etc…everybody thinks it’s cute to just dump them on the sidewalk, or sometimes in front of businesses or apartments. That makes life harder for pedestrians and people in wheelchairs. But hey, it’s okay because these services reduce driving and carbon emissions. Who cares about blocking sidewalks?

Colorado

Connecticut

District of Columbia

Georgia

Hawaii

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

North Carolina

New Mexico

New York

Ohio

Oregon

South Carolina

Texas

Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

Arterial streets in the suburbs ARE built with a vehicle focus, and that is as it should be. The design elements for deep downtown streets are not appropriate for suburban arterials designed to move high volumes of vehicles efficiently.

For Toronto and everywhere else, it is lunacy to suggest speed limits need to be lowered because of two crazies in a 40 kph zone (25 mph), one at 127 and one at 202 (79 and 125 mph). This is some of the worst “the sky is falling” garbage I have ever seen from a major politician. Clearly, Mr. Tory knows nothing about traffic safety engineering and should play no part in those policies.

The proliferation of electric scooters, particularly in jurisdictions where there are no serious rider or safety rules, are certain to increase accident rates. Is that the drivers’ fault? I say no.

In California and most other places, it simply isn’t possible to take lanes away from cars to build protected bike lanes without serious congestion problems. Europe does a far better job in many places with marked bike lanes on sidewalks to separate them from cars.

Colorado got serious about lane courtesy many years ago. Every jurisdiction should work on this issue for safety and traffic flow efficiency.

The Mecklenburg County, NC article shows the problems with overly strict traffic laws that make violators or criminals out of far too many safe drivers. Residents in better neighborhoods have the political clout to object; many in poorer neighborhoods don’t.

Long commutes grow when central city real estate gets unaffordable for even well-employed people like nurses, teachers, office workers, etc. This is hard to solve.

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