The War on Cars Watch is a weekly feature of the NMA blog. The War on Cars Watch focuses on road diets, traffic calming and programs such as Vision Zero and Complete Streets as well as studies, court cases, and other news that affect motorists. Special commentary from NMA California Member Michael Jabbra is notated with an MJ: designation and all other comments are those of Shelia Dunn, NMA Communications Editor and curator of this blog.
We love to hear from you about the War on Cars Watch. Please feel free to comment below the post.
War on Cars Watch Stories of the Week
- The Death of Cars Was Greatly Exaggerated
- The Problems With the American Driver (no Lane Courtesy for starters)
- Engineering Panel Backpedals On Yellow Times (NMA mention)
National War on Cars Watch Stories
- U.S. senators target auto tech mandate to block drunk driving and this
- A Push to Have Cars Say ‘No’ To Drunk Drivers (Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019)–this bill makes the assumption that everyone drinks which is absolutely not true! Also, this criminalizes everyone whether they drink or not!
MJ: There’s no question that drunk drivers should be off the road. However, I don’t want a car spying on me. This data wouldn’t just be used to keep the car from starting; it would be blabbered to insurance companies, the government, HMOs, etc. for their own purposes. Drivers, let’s do our part – go easy on the booze.
- Opinion: How overcriminalization is turning everyday Americans into lawbreakers –this proves our point with the mandatory breathalyzer on every new car
- Meet the New Congressional Caucus for Transportation (War on Cars Watch)
- Digging Deeper on the VMT Congressional Report Released 10.18.19
- FHWA report reveals urban congestion has not improved
- NHTSA Targets Drunk Driving with New Partnership Funding
- Cities with more black residents rely more on traffic tickets and fines for revenue
- Soon-to-be-released Weed Breathalyzer May Reassure Policymakers
MJ: This is good news for ending the war on drugs. One of the justifications for the war on drugs is being unable to have an on-the-spot way to determine how drugged a driver is. Now, here’s the solution, at least for marijuana. There will in the future be ways to detect other drugs. Again, drivers, let’s do our part – drugs and driving do not mix.
- Busted Driving With Marijuana? You May Lose Your Vehicle
- Streetsblog War on Cars Viewpoint: NYC Banished Cars for Buses — Your City Can, Too!
- Affordable housing is disappearing. So cities are designating parking lots to sleep in
- Decolonizing our work: Why Untokening is so powerful for BIPOC transportation advocates (War on Cars Watch)
- Why Do Micromobility Advocates Have Tiny-Demand Syndrome? (War on Cars Watch)
- New App Helps to Slow Down Speeders: the Gaming of Driving–should we play?
MJ: So on the one hand, smartphones are a distraction that cause accidents and injure or kill other motorists, or cyclists, or pedestrians…and on the other hand, everyone should install an app on their phone to monitor (spy on) their driving. Why not just put the phone down and pay attention? (Yes, cyclists too – I’ve seen cyclists riding with their noses in their phones.)
- What is the Future of the Gas Station? (War on Cars Watch)
- A Simple Guide on How to Get a Speeding Ticket Reduced
International War on Cars Watch Stories
Regional and Local War on Cars Watch Stories
- California’s high gas prices will be investigated for possible price fixing –will the Gov/AG be able to get to the bottom of this?
- New Vision for Bay Area: Using Freeways for a High-Quality Regional Transit System (War on Cars Watch)
- Los Angeles: Policing Predictive Program Gets Changes in Response to Racism Claims
- Two-way Bike Lane Approved for Los Angeles’ Main Street
- 7 Los Angeles streets that should go car-free (War on Cars Watch)
MJ: This is madness. All of the streets mentioned are major vehicle arteries. Closing them to vehicle traffic is going to cause a lot of congestion. Let’s stick with improving mass transit in those areas – more buses, more often.
- Scraper Bike Lane part of 90th Avenue repaving, redesign project in Oakland (colorful and distracting?) (War on Cars Watch)
- After Spate of Deaths, Oakland DOT Talks Rapid Response (Vision Zero Watch)
- Coastal Commission Accepts San Diego’s Zero-Parking Requirements for a Slice of Coastal Zone
- San Diego: To Encourage Public Transit, “Make It Harder to Drive” –This rhetoric is getting old really fast! We all should have the choice of transportation options –also, if there was better and more reliable transit, folks would use it—but it would be there choice, not dictated from the gov.
- San Francisco War on Cars Watch: Market Street is only the beginning of drive to clear city streets of cars
- San Francisco: What other streets should ban cars? (War on Cars Watch)
- Commentary: Let’s Make ‘Car Free’ Market Street Even Better (War on Cars Watch)
- Metro Denver’s traffic congestion will go from bad to worse, study predicts
- Denver Traffic Calming: New 15th Street ‘Corner Wedges’ Slow Drivers When They Turn Onto Bike Lane
- This is why Denver woke up to a ‘bus-only’ lane on 15th Street
- First Step to Lower Denver Speed Limits Smaller Than Hoped (War on Cars Watch)
District of Columbia
- Editorial: Why do we put up with a transit system that kills, maims and wastes hours of our time? (War on Cars Watch)
- Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Motorist Black Box Data Privacy –important court case for all motorists—we need our 4th Amendment Rights protected so that the truth will be told.
- A New Chicago Startup Is Working to Bring Congestion Pricing to Chicago
- In Chicago, more ride-hailing fees and bus-only lanes aim to reduce congestion
MJ: This article hits all the main talking points: traffic enforcement should be about safety rather than revenue-raising, there are too many laws, and it’s not necessary to turn everything into a criminal matter or an arrest. I would add one thing: for minor violations, perhaps community service could be used instead of fines for someone who doesn’t have a lot of money to pay a fine.
- Mississippi Sheriff’s Office, ACLU Settle on ‘Unbiased Policing Policy’ to Prevent Discriminatory Traffic Stops, Searches of Black Drivers
- Federal Lawsuit: Suffolk County, NY traffic violations agency unfair to poor motorists –this is a case to watch!
- New York City accused of illegally altering parking tickets to squeeze more fines from drivers
- War on Cars Watch: Where should NYC roll out its next busways?
- Bronx Judge Allows DOT to Put Morris Park Avenue on a Road Diet (War on Cars Watch)
- NYC Advocates call out Mayor de Blasio for holding up bike lane, redesign on notorious Queens Blvd. (War on Cars Watch)
- New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson floats more car bans in Manhattan (War on Cars Watch)
- Manhattan, NY CB9 Big: Citi Bike Won’t Get ‘Our’ Parking Without A Fight (War on Cars Watch)
- NYPD Is Writing Up More Drivers Who Block Bus Lanes (War on Cars Watch)
- NYC Editorial: Battle lines are drawn in ‘car culture’ wars – at least one paper has some sense and have not been overtaken by alt transit fever.
MJ: Don’t kill the car. That just antagonizes people. The rest of the article was about offering choices to people in the form of e-bikes. That isn’t so bad. Choice, not compulsion, is the way to go. And again – for clueless urban planners – sometimes people need to carry their own cargo. Not everything can be crammed into a backpack or bicycle basket.
- Civil asset forfeitures violate SC and US constitutions, Horry County judge rules –will be interesting to see how this court case will change reform efforts in SC.
- Car buyers beware, state of Texas officials say
- Austin: It’s not just light rail. Capital Metro wants to expand rapid bus service, too.
That’s this week’s War on Car Watch post. If you find a story online about the War on Cars, please feel free to email the URL to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be Safe Out There,
NMA Communications Director
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