Special Announcement: Are you fighting a road diet or traffic calming project in your city? If you have the time and money, we encourage you to attend the Keep LA Moving Conference on October 5th in Los Angeles. Shelia Dunn, your humble War on Cars Watch editor, will be presenting and we hope that getting together will help those move further in their fight against city hall. Check out the conference HERE.
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.
We love to hear from you about the War on Cars Watch. Please feel free to comment below the post.
War on Cars Story of the Week
Climate groups call for SUVs to be banned –a London lawmaker recently made this bold assertion too!
National War on Cars Stories
Driving in America
- What Urban Sprawl Is Really Doing to Your Commute
- Do Algorithms Have a Place in Policing?
- The Human Cost of Amazon’s Fast, Free Shipping
- Uber has troves of data on how people navigate cities. Urban planners have begged, pleaded, and gone to court for access. Will they ever get it?
- New Study shows promise for curbing Ride-Hail Traffic
- The bicycling backlash (opinion)
MJ: I’d say this article is mostly on the mark. Licenses for cycling? Really? On the one hand, it’s a bicycle, not a car – a lot slower, a lot lighter. Forcing bicyclists to get a license sounds way too much like Big Brother. On the other hand, cyclists should be made to face the music when they break the rules of the road – just like drivers. But a specific bicycle license isn’t necessary for that.
- Traffic Study Comes Under Fire for Being Too ‘Pro-Car’ (War on Cars Watch)
- Viewpoint: The Future is Four Wheels, Cyclists be Damned (Vision Zero Watch)
Auto and Traffic Safety
- Automakers commit to rear-seat reminders in nearly all vehicles by 2025
- Are Automatic Brakes Scaring Their Own Drivers?
- Long helpful to car buyers, star safety ratings languish in breakdown lane
- Is there a link between flip flops and car crashes?
- Cyclist Deaths Are Exploding Because U.S. Cities Are Car-Friendly Death Traps (War on Cars Watch)
MJ: The article mentions the lack of education for bicyclists and the fact that bicyclists learn from each other. Great – so many of them are learning to ride through red lights and stop signs, or to ride on sidewalks, which are for pedestrians. Possibly some cyclist education classes in high schools would help, although this would be hard to incorporate. What we have here is a toxic mix of too many people in cities using too many different forms of transportation to get around. It’s hard to find a good way out of this which will make everybody happy.
- Tow truck drivers are out there working one of America’s most dangerous jobs
- Yes, Texting While Walking Is Relatively Safe. (But Still Annoying.) (War on Cars Watch)
- Want to Make Your City Safe? The Data Points To Prioritizing ‘Vision Zero’ To Cut Crime (Vision Zero Watch)
International War on Cars Stories
- Toronto Is In A Heated Debate About Whether Or Not Texting While Walking Should Be Banned
- UK: Cargo bikes proved to outpace vans on majority of urban deliveries
- UK Driver spends £30,000 fighting £100 speeding fine – and loses –Would you go to this extreme to fight an injustice?
War on Cars Regional and Local Stories
- Viewpoint: Breaking Down Caltrans’ Cost Estimate of the Complete Streets Bill SB127 (Complete Streets Watch)
- E-Bike Vouchers Bill (SB400) Signed by Governor Newsom (War on Cars Watch)
MJ: An e-bike is going be a lot cheaper than a car – even most used cars. With that in mind, e-bikes don’t need to be subsidized. What’s next, subsidizing regular bicycles – or subsidizing walking?
- Too many bears are being killed in Yosemite. Is it time to ban cars? (War on Cars Watch)
- Report identifies Yolo County community with ‘limited evacuation routes’
- Berkeley PD Wants Pedestrians to Stay off the Phone, Wear Bright Clothing
MJ: Distracted walking isn’t a crime on the books, but it isn’t a good idea either. Yes, bright coloring is more noticeable, but it isn’t the job of law enforcement to tell people what to wear.
- In Los Angeles Area, 54 people were killed in hit-and-run crashes last year
- Sacramento commutes are getting much worse, especially for state workers. Help is on the way
- San Francisco Updates Signal Tech as Traffic Fatalities Rise
- Uber, Lyft, and Amazon make San Francisco’s environmental planning irrelevant
MJ: This is true in the sense that private companies, large and small alike, are much faster about making decisions than governments. People want what they want. The average citizen is not going to be concerned about how their meals or packages arrive, as long as they come intact and on time. “Mostly wealthy residents” – really? You mean people who aren’t named Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg never order meals or packages?
- Viewpoint: Walk San Francisco Demands Enforcement on Vision Zero (Vision Zero Watch)
- San Francisco Plans Changing Hundreds of Traffic Signals By 2020 To Help Reduce Pedestrian Deaths (Vision Zero Watch)
- Colorado safety advocates seek to stop bicycle fatality trend (Vision Zero Watch)
- Colorado DOT wants pedestrians to gaze into the eyes of drivers so they don’t hit you while crossing the street
- Asbury Park, NJ: Cops don disguises, trash cars of man who filed a complaint against them, prosecutor says
- How limousine safety ran out of gas
- Buffalo, New York: Petition started to raise the speed limit on the Scajaquada Expressway to 55 mph
- Protected bike lanes could flourish if NYC vehicles were smaller, advocates say
- NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio: Citi Bikers may be required to wear helmets soon
- Viewpoint: More cycling regulations won’t make New York City’s streets safer
- NYC: Missing street markings defy Vision Zero safety zero safety crusade (Vision Zero Watch)
- End to Driver Responsibility Program brings 1.4 million Texans back on the road (Video Report) –About Time!
- Texas Viewpoint: No Traffic Stops Can Be Considered ‘Routine’
MJ: This is a good article that explains a law enforcement officer’s viewpoint. It’s true – officers are told over and over that no traffic stop is routine. The officer genuinely doesn’t know what will happen. Hence the officer’s actions – commanding voice, approaching the driver carefully with a hand hovering near a holster, etc. You, the driver, might know that you’re a peaceful citizen – but the officer doesn’t know that. Law enforcement officers aren’t mind readers. Take a minute and think about why that’s a good thing. Assistant Chief Hacrow’s advice at the end of this article is useful for officers and civilians alike.
- Court battle over car-tab tax could get you a refund, but cost Sound Transit billions
- Seattle May Try to Replicate Barcelona’s ‘Superblocks’
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 email@example.com.
Be Safe Out There,
NMA Communications Director
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