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, and the italicized comments throughout the Watch comes 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 April 24-30, 2019
- The Fight for the Right to Drive –an important article from The New Yorker
- Viewpoint: How to Make Transit More Competitive in the Suburbs – is this even possible?
- Road to Zero Survey Says Motorists Support Imposition of More Safety Measures (Vision Zero Watch)—of course, the Road to Zero survey would say this…
- Racial disparity in driver stops may be due to policy, says data scientist – can we really trust this data?
- Flashing Headlights to Warn of Speed Trap May Be Protected by First Amendment
- Check Out This New Database of Corrupt Cops
- The inside story of the man who fought police over a hash brown — and won –this is why you should always fight your ticket!
- Gen Z Can’t Afford the SUVs Detroit Is Making
- 11 Bizarre American Driving Laws
- How Tactical Drivers learn crazy-ass Maneuvers
Mobility as a Service
- Distracted Scooting? Even Bird and Lime Users Text On The Road (Or Sidewalk)
- How five cities are expanding bike share to underserved communities
- Uber, Lyft low ride-sharing fares is over, analyst says (Video Report)
- Viewpoint: Paying Uber and Lyft Drivers More Benefits Everyone
- Cities shouldn’t be ‘over prescriptive’ in regulating new tech, say mobility leaders
- Cyclists are Using Red Cups to Protest Unsafe Bike Lanes –look out for the red cups…if you hit one, cyclists will call you a killer.
MJ: Of course, the red cups won’t stop cyclists from blowing through red lights and stop signs…or from distracted cycling (bicyclists on cell phones). It’s always the driver’s fault according to these folks!
- Australia: Perth Area Police to issue speeding fines and traffic infringements via text, email
- Canada: ‘Slow zone’ pitched to lower speed in Edmonton city core (War on Cars Watch) – Lots of folks are upset about this…will it be enough to keep the speed limits as is?
- Canada: ‘Uber Was Supposed To Be Our Public Transit’ in Innisfil, Ontario
- Canadian Editorial: British experiment shows lower speed limits do not improve road safety (Vision Zero Watch) –the NMA has been saying this for a long time—setting speed limits at the 85th percentile is always the safest for all road users.
- All New U.K. Cars to Have Speed Limiters Installed By 2022
- UK Report backs per-mile road charging scheme for London
- UK: If you warn other drivers about police speed traps, you could be fined £1,000—Yikes!
- Phoenix, AZ wants to make streets safer. But councilman sees hidden motive. (Vision Zero Watch)
- Phoenix City Council essentially kills Vision Zero safety plan in voting deadlock – Bravo, folks are starting to catch on what Vision Zero is really about
- California Senate Transportation Committee: Complete Streets Bill SB127 Amended, Passed (Complete Streets Watch)
- Bay Area, California: Planning for giant San Pablo Avenue facelift gets underway
- 2-Way Bike Lane Coming To Downtown Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Mayor’s Green New Deal calls on Angelenos to drive 6 fewer miles every day
- Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s ‘Green New Deal’ would phase out gas-fueled cars
- Viewpoint: Denver’s 20-year-plan will solve congestion if drivers don’t balk
- Holy police tech, Batman! Denver officers can now shoot your car with a GPS tracker if you try to flee
MJ: This is an interesting solution to put a stop to high-speed police pursuits, which endanger everyone. The police will be able to monitor the movements of the tracker and box in the driver or lay down spike strips.
District of Columbia
- Long hours, isolating loneliness, and confusing fees: Uber drivers in Washington, DC, are struggling to make ends meet
MJ: This is not a surprise, considering that Washington, DC has a good metro system and is less sprawled out than Los Angeles. Moreover, anyone with a car can be an Uber or Lyft driver…which means that there are a lot of drivers…which means that the driver’s wage is going to be low. It’s driving, not heart surgery. This is Economics 101.
MJ: “That won’t stop privacy advocates from crying foul…” whined Sean Szymkowski, the author of this article. It’s clear that he doesn’t mind governments or corporations spying on people if it’s to wage war on cars and their darn carbon pawprints.
New Jersey & New York
- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised Garden State drivers exemption from congestion pricing
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority head denies New York-New Jersey congestion pricing deal
- Confused About Congestion Pricing in NYC? Here’s What We Know
- New York City: City to Keep 14th Street ‘Busway’ Plan Despite No L-Train Shutdown
- NY Bill Proposes Simpler E-Bike/E-Scooter Legislation
- New initiatives to improve mobility announced in New York
- NYC Politicians ask DOT to implement Amsterdam Avenue safety improvements despite community objections
- How New Yorkers are making bank ratting out idling drivers
MJ: This citizen bounty program encourages the adult equivalent of schoolyard tattling. Delivery drivers – is it really that hard to turn off your engine while you make a delivery?
- New York Proposal would let you pay traffic tickets on an installment plan
- NYC Mayor De Blasio opposing bid to lessen penalty on parking offenders
- Uber and Lyft stop accepting new drivers in New York City
- NYC: Bronx Businesses Sue Mayor De Blasio Over Vision Zero Plan (Vision Zero Watch)
- Austin, Texas has generated $723,000 in scooter permit application fees
- Should the state cement e-scooter regulations into Texas law? Dallas senator wants to try
- Houston’s booming bike-share system is reshaping a car-centric city
Commentary from James C. Walker, NMA Foundation Executive Director
Polls like the one Road to Zero Survey Says Motorists Support Imposition of More Safety Measures (Vision Zero Watch)— can come up any answer the sponsors want – IF the questions are phrased cleverly enough. They are worthless in any serious analysis of what the public would accept.
Gen Z and all other vehicle buyers need to recognize that SUVs and Crossovers cost $1,000 to $4,000 more than conventional coupes, sedans, and station wagons in similar size and engine categories. For those extra costs, the buyers get to “enjoy” lower fuel economy, higher centers of gravity for worse handling and more emissions per mile traveled. Such a deal!!!
British data clearly showed that using 20 mph limits instead of the former 30 limits on most city roads did NOT reduce speeds by any significant amount and did NOT improve safety.
The EU and Britain even if they separate are on the road to automatic speed limiters on all new cars. How the public actually reacts to them is yet to be seen. Many people predict sharply rising values of used cars in the last few model years before the highly intrusive and sometimes dangerous devices are installed.
Council people in Phoenix who objected to the Vision Zero plan likely know the reduction in speed limits in Boston resulted in actual speed reductions of 0.0 mph, but BIG increases in drivers arbitrarily defined as violators for $$$$.
The problem with Denver’s plan to force more people out of their cars is the fact people do NOT like trading their 20 to 25 minute commute by private car for a 30 to 45 minute commute by transit including more exposure to four season weather going to and from transit stops and waiting for the transit vehicles to arrive. They say NO!