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
- More lawyers, reporter stopped and questioned at border by U.S. officials –these are US citizens.
- 8 Ways to Improve State DOTs, According to Smart Growth Advocates (War on Cars Watch)
- Americans Drove a Record Number of Miles Last Year
- A group of 26,000 truckers wants to strike against the biggest issues plaguing America’s trucking industry by shutting down the nation’s highways — but not everyone is on board – Strike is scheduled for Friday, April 12th. Will it make a difference to anyone?
- Opinion: What’s Killing U.S. Pedestrians? Streets That Weren’t Designed for Them. (War on Cars Watch)
- What is the future of mobility?
- Are Dockless Bikes Doomed to Fail?
- Charge scooters for parking? Some cities are trying it
- These 8 cities are taking bold steps to get rid of cars (War on Cars Watch)
- National Geographic Viewpoint: To build the cities of the future, we must get out of our cars
- Canada: Mayor John Tory Promises To Lower Speed Limits In Toronto To Reduce Pedestrian And Cyclist Deaths (Vision Zero Watch)
- Paris to tax scooter and bike services
- Romania: A Lady Does Not Drive A Car—a fascinating personal account of what it means for a women to have the freedom of driving and other that action affects other women.
- Bird celebrates after Britain signals it is ready to trash a 184-year-old law banning electric scooters
- Tempe city ordinance makes distracted driving a primary offense (Vision Zero Watch)
- Tempe’s Vision Zero campaign ready to present draft to the Public on Wednesday
- California Bill SB152 Aims to Reshape Active Transportation Program
- California Editorial: Electric scooters are accidents waiting to happen
- Barriers Between Bike, Car Lanes Could Be Installed On Los Angeles Streets (Video Report)
- Why is Los Angeles so Dangerous for Cyclists? (Vision Zero Watch)
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?
- Editorial: MyFigueroa is everything wrong with Los Angeles’ alternative transit efforts
- Data Privacy Debate Emerges Out of Los Angeles’ Scooter Craze
- Furious Over Falling Pay, Los Angeles Uber Drivers Prepare to Strike
- Pasadena slows down Rose Bowl loop peloton with new road configuration — cyclists aren’t happy
- Sacramento, CA Plans Crackdown On JUMP Bike And Scooter Parking
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?
- San Francisco: Lawmakers still largely ignoring Uber and Lyft traffic nightmare (War on Cars Watch)
- San Francisco: Only three additional blocks of Howard Street to get protected bike lanes
- San Francisco: Lyft drivers’ protest exposes ride-hailing Achilles’ heel
- Mayor Unveils 20-Year Vision for Denver’s Future (War on Cars Watch)
- Denver drivers urged to ‘slow the funk down’ (Vision Zero Watch)
- Denver: More than 60% of survey respondents have been involved in a crash or near-miss with an electric scooter
- Colorado State Trooper Teaches Highway Driving 101 on Facebook, Tells Left-Lane Squatters to Beat It
District of Columbia
- The K Street Transitway gets $122 million. What’s the K Street Transitway? (Road Diet)
- More DC Circulator and Capital Bikeshare service could be coming to the District (Vision Zero Watch)
- North Avenue residents are the latest Atlantans to lobby the city for complete streets (War on Cars Watch)
- Atlanta City Council green-lights harsher punishments for drivers parked in bike lanes
- Baltimore City Council committee approves fees, fines, speed limits and other dockless scooter and bike rules
- Massachusetts cities partner with Draper, Miovision to improve traffic safety (Vision Zero Watch)
- Congestion pricing for Boston: As NYC goes, so goes here?
- ‘It’s about privilege’: Mecklenburg County, NC sheriff writing tickets in a wealthy area causes backlash
- Uptown Charlotte, NC is getting its first permanent, protected bicycle lane soon
- New Mexico: Cyclists call for veto of bike safety bill HB192 over ‘sidepath’ mandate – so motorists would have to drive five feet away from bicyclists, in exchange bicyclists would have to take the bike path if one is available instead of riding in traffic—can’t have your cake and eat it too!
- New York City Op-Ed: Save Commuters From More Delays with Smart Rules for Scooters
- Tons of questions about congestion plan at NYC Townhall
- New York City: Congestion pricing supporters, opponents clash at midtown rally on Sunday
- Congestion Pricing in Manhattan, First Such Plan in the U.S., Is Close to Approval—Will this now become a role model for other US cities such as Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon?
- Cincinnati Traffic study: shorter green lights, ride-share zones, streetcar signals, more parking meters
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.