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 22-28, 2019
MJ: This isn’t anything new. Surely many NMA members remember the OPEC embargo. (That was before my time.) The good news is that the growth of electric vehicles and hybrids will reduce the need for oil to some extent.
- Are We Starting to See Progress Toward Vision Zero? (Vision Zero Watch)
- Lyft aims to make rides safer with 911 panic button in the app
- Mandatory truck speed limiters will cause more deaths
- Yet more evidence: “If you build it they will drive” (War on Cars Watch)
- Can the U.S. curb gas-powered cars by 2040? (War on Cars Watch)
- GM’s Robo-Taxi Ride-Sharing Plans Hit A Hurdle
- BMW joins the electric scooter market
- Car trouble: How symbol of freedom became a ball and chain
MJ: Again, this depends on where you are and what your needs are. Some people may not need or want a car. Others do. We of NMA believe that car ownership should be your choice. If you don’t want to own a car, we want you to come to that decision on your own, and not be nagged, hectored, or guilt-tripped out of driving by the Vision Zero crowd.
- Imagining Cities With Fewer Cars (War on Cars Watch)
- Should We Regulate Ads that Promote Dangerous Driving? (War on Cars Watch)
Mobility as a Service or MaaS
- The Power Of Purpose: How Lime Is Unlocking The Wonder Of Urban Mobility
- Finding the right first response to all those scooters out there
- Uber and Lyft to turn the wheels on car ownership: industry experts
- Passage of statewide rules for Uber, Lyft depends on which agency should regulate it
- From food delivery to self-driving cars, here’s how all of Uber and Lyft’s side-businesses compare
- A sixth of ridesharing cars have unfixed safety recalls
- Self-driving cars need to be like airplanes to support Mobility as a Service
- In Europe, a storm is brewing
- The Dangerous Standoff Between Uber and Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Canada: Speeding ticket quashed after driver argues he only sped to pass someone
- Canada: 8081 Saskatchewan Drivers Caught Speeding in April
MJ: Big surprise – using gas tax money for something other than road maintenance.
- Here’s the fix from the CA DMV for your Real ID driver’s license
- State of California Grants Awarded for Active Transportation, Sustainable Communities
- Offenders in California Get Saddled with Thousands of Dollars in Court Fees. This Bill Would Stop That.
- SoCal traffic: Ride-hailing apps like Uber, Lyft may be making congestion worse, study says
- Santa Clara County, California Redefines ‘Street Smart’
- Lompoc awarded $258K state grant to study pedestrian, bike connections on Ocean Avenue, North H Street
- San Diego: Active transportation projects get a $16M boost after regional competition win (bike lanes)
- San Francisco plans to tax Lyft, Uber rides
- San Francisco’s Uber-Nuisance Probe Gets Go-Ahead From Court
- San Francisco explores banning right turns at red lights
- California: Complete Streets Bill SB127 Passes Senate (Complete Streets Watch)
MJ: Having better painted crosswalks isn’t necessarily bad. I’ve driven on a lot of streets where lane lines and other lines are badly faded. This is a problem, especially at night. However, I’m sure SB127 will be used by the anti-car crowd to chase cars off the roads.
- Boulder, CO puts the brakes on e-scooters (video report)
- A Sniff by a Pot-Detecting Dog Requires Probable Cause and Does Not Justify a Search, Says Colorado Supreme Court
- I-25 traffic jams are shifting northern Colorado transit plans into high gear. But are commuters ready to ditch their cars?
- Denver’s bicycle superhighway on Broadway will take up to two more years to start
- New Colorado law now allows e-scooters on the road, not the sidewalk
District of Columbia
- Is Vision Zero working for DC? Fatalities are up despite new safety measures across the District (Vision Zero Watch)
- Traffic Calming Measures considered for the northernmost part of D.C. east of Rock Creek Park
- Hawaii moves toward road usage charge and a clean energy future
- Honolulu: City hopes new sidewalk stencils will prevent pedestrian deaths
- Innocent Driver Challenges Chicago, Illinois Car Confiscation
- Police in Illinois will permanently have to record race, other traffic stop data in the new bill
- A degree in mobility? It will soon be possible at Michigan’s Wayne State
- Detroit: Drivers could lose car lanes on Woodward Avenue in 2020 (War on Cars Watch)
- Federal government returns $418,000 seized as drug money in Missouri
- Why the disparity in traffic stops in Columbia, Missouri?
- New York City: DOT Says It Will Fill Jay Street Bike Lane Gaps This Year
- NYC DOT Will Replace East Village ‘Mixing Zones’ With Semi-Protected Intersections
- Suspended Driver’s Licenses Snare New York’s Poorest Citizens
- In Some Ways, London’s Congestion Pricing is Outdated. Here’s how it could be Different in NY.
- New York: Crosswalks may soon become ‘no texting’ zones
- NY Senate Bill Would Seize Licenses from Reckless Drivers
- Can Scooters Generate Infrastructure Funds for Portland, Ore.?
- Oregon Bill SB 558 would allow cities to lower residential speed limits
- Philadelphians vote yes on traffic enforcement officers
- Pennsylvania only state that doesn’t allow local police to use radar guns to track speed (NMA mention)
- Downtown Bellevue bike lanes will stay put, more lanes planned
- Seattle DOT unveils early research on congestion tolling in Seattle
- Ignoring road blocks in Spokane, Washington can result in $1K fines
Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker
Truckers are pushing back against any mandatory speed limiters, as NMA members did with a federal comment period about requiring them. They are not higher safety devices.
Advocates in the US and Europe are pushing to eliminate gas powered cars in the next 20 to 30 years. I don’t think this will happen until limitations of range, recharging time, cost, and electric grid capacity are solved to make fully electric cars practical.
Governments are quickly learning that Uber, Lyft, autonomous cars, and scooters have problems that will often make mobility and safety issues worse.
California is finally trying to address the issue of suspending the driver’s license of a poor person who cannot pay high fines and fees that then take them out of the work force because there is no practical way for the person to get to work. It took 15 years to repeal Michigan’s Driver Responsibility Fees that destroyed the work and private lives of hundreds of thousands of poor people in Michigan. Using traffic enforcement for profit with draconian fines and fees has terrible consequences for low income people.
DC and other cities are discovering Vision Zero sometimes equals Zero Vision when good-sounding ideas don’t produce the desired results. Some of this problem is higher levels of exposures. If you successfully get higher percentages of travelers to walk and bike, the exposure rates go up because they become more vulnerable in accidents.
Illinois and some other states are taking steps to reduce profiling in traffic stops, an issue that would get significantly better if typical main road and highway speed limits were not arbitrarily set to define 70% or 80% or 90+% of drivers as “speeders.”
Several states are taking steps to curb or eliminate civil forfeiture abuses when the person has not been convicted of a related crime. This is proper because civil forfeiture without a conviction is governmental larceny, an abuse that no one should tolerate.
Please feel free to comment on the War on Cars Watch Weekly Blog below, and if you have a war on cars story, please send the URL link to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to help us against this war on cars, consider joining like-minded motorists as a member of the NMA.