War on Cars Watch for March 6, 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). Also, check out commentary from the NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker at the end of the report.

Here are the national stories from February 27-March 5, 2019

War on Cars

MJ: This article says nothing about the limitations of computers and artificial intelligence. Nor does it say anything about how many of us like driving because a) we’re not dependent on someone else, b) a car can carry cargo or kids, and c) we just plain like being in control. If other people are happy with buses, trains, and ridesharing, that’s fine. They should leave the rest of us alone.

MJ: Gasoline isn’t all that cheap in California, but at least (so far) we haven’t returned to that dreadful summer of 2008 when gasoline was over $4 per gallon.

MJ: Higher population in cars and on sidewalks, combined with everyone with their nose in their phones. Are we surprised that there are more pedestrian casualties. Oh, I forgot: It’s always the driver’s fault. Darn all those people driving cars!

Auto Industry


Speed Limiters

MJ – Great – my car nagging me about how I drive. I’ll keep my dumb car!












New York




Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

Many different forms of attack to get more people to stop driving or reduce their use of cars or restrict how & where they can drive will be with us from now on. What these attacks refuse to acknowledge is that the vast majority of people freely choose to drive for most of their transportation needs.  The needs and wishes of far more than 50% of the drivers should control more of the dialogue about changes. This will ONLY happen when more people speak out against restrictions on our freedom to drive when and where we want to go.  Our views are not anti-transit, anti-biking, or anti-walking for those that choose those mobility methods. Our views are pro-driver for the high majority of people that choose to drive – and should be allowed to continue that preference.

Calling the GHSA a non-profit group is false. Their member organizations are in the revenue stream from traffic tickets and are financially conflicted regarding traffic laws and their enforcement.

A key reason that most European cars are so competent at high speeds is the existence of the unrestricted portions of the German Autobahn. German residents and other European visitors often use those unrestricted areas and demand that their cars behave properly and safely at speeds far above those used by most Americans and Canadians. Recent proposals by governments and Volvo to restrict the travel speeds of vehicles will slowly degrade that superiority if they go into effect.

Enforcement of artificially low posted speed limits will always be a part-time racket for profits. No city can or will afford 24/7/365 enforcement with enough officers or cameras on most of their collectors & arterials to actually reduce the speeds of most drivers to 10 or 15 mph below the natural and safe 85thpercentile speeds of traffic.  But the efforts to falsely debunk the safety value of 85th percentile posted limits will continue for rea$on$ that $hould be obvious$ to mo$t ob$erver$, rea$on$ that do NOT include safety.

Road diets are coming under fire in several cities and members should oppose most of them when proposed in their areas.

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