New Washington Examiner DC Government reporter Eric P. Newcomer hits the ground driving with a story about DC's "war on cars."
Driving in the District is a high-price hassle: burning gasoline while stuck in traffic, feeding hungry parking meters and now tracking the ever-watchful traffic cameras waiting to make you pay up if you slip up.
I know. What's with all the enforcement right? They act like speeding's illegal or deadly or something. In trying to keep me from killing people, they're killing my buzz, and isn't that a crime too?
If it seems like city leaders want to get cars off the road in the nation's capital, that's because they do.
Newsflash. So does everyone else. Everyone wants to reduce congestion and pollution from the smallest town to the U.N [Oh no Agenda 21!]. Has it occurred to you that you wouldn't be "burning gasoline while stuck in traffic" if there were fewer cars on the road. "I want a solution to congestion, but it better not involve less traffic!"
Newcomer mistakes DC's goal to create "a city where residents and visitors won't need a car" with a war on cars. DC is interested in giving drivers other options. Only in car-happy America would that be a "war on cars." It reminds me a bit of the line from the film Jacob's Ladder.
So, if you're frightened of dying and... you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.
If you want to hang on to your car and driving, then you see a war on cars; but if you drive because there is no better option, you see a city trying to help you live a life with more choices.
And yes, the city wants to raise the cost of parking and even driving to reduce congestion and improve parking availability.
"One of the ways to manage a scarce resource is to use price as a signal," she said.
Gosh that sounds a lot like economics. As does this
Facing scarce parking, commuters could pay even more for new "performance-based" parking spaces with prices that fluctuate with demand
Isn't that how things should be? You always hear people saying "If I ran my business like the government I'd be bankrupt" or something, but once government does run things like a business, well that's just greed.
"Zero tolerance" anti-idling zones could bring in new revenue to the city when drivers are caught with engines running at a standstill.
And 100% tolerance anti-idling zones would cause pollution, traffic congestion and illegal behavior. I know which one I choose. If Newcomer thinks the law is bad, then he should say so, but asking for less enforcement of a law you support just doesn't make sense. How much tolerance should we have on this?
"Motorists are seen as the ATM machines of the District of Columbia, but they're the unwelcome ATM machines," said Lon Anderson, AAA Mid-Atlantic's managing director of government and public affairs.
First of all, the M in ATM stands for machine. So saying ATM machine is saying Automatic Teller Machine Machine. Second, an ATM gives you your money, not someone elses, so it's a bad analogy. Third, motorists are seen as customers in our city, and as customers they have to pay for the services they use (mostly parking). Some motorists are also seen as law-breakers on account of them breaking the law, so they're being fined. Again, how much enforcement of a law you support is the right amount?
Already, the city has found ways to make large sums of money off motorists
I suspect that if you added up all the revenue from motorists and all the costs, that DC would still be losing money on motorists. He throws up a bunch of numbers for how much DC brings in on parking and violations (and then double counts some of it by mentioning unpaid tickets, fines and fees - which isn't actually money DC has made). Most of the money comes from violations. So this isn't a war on cars, it's aw enforcement. Is enforcing good laws bad?
Those who are able to afford driving in the District might find it more difficult to find a place to park: The city is weighing making the creation of parking spaces optional for developers in some downtown areas.
I don't want to have to pay for parking, someone else should do that. Why isn't a parking minimum a "war on business owners" or a "war on homeowners," since it makes owning a business or home more expensive?
Some Adams Morgan residents are upset over a new development because the city might let the builder get away with providing seven fewer parking spaces than typically required.
"Parking is incredibly difficult anywhere in Adams Morgan," said Mindy Moretti, a former advisory neighborhood commissioner.
Wow. She does sound upset. The way that she stated a fact and all. I guess I'll just take your word for it that some are upset. Some people are always upset about something.
Under the mayor's Sustainable D.C. plan, the city wants 50 percent of commutes by its residents to take place on public transportation and another 25 percent by bike.
The American Community Survey found that, in 2011, just 3.15 percent of D.C. residents typically biked to work
25% does sound like a lot then. Unfortunately for Newcomer and his crack team of editors, 25% is the precentage goal for those who commute by bike AND walking. Most of that will probably be walking as is true now (10%), so that's a pretty big flaw.
Bike lanes -- D.C. has about 56 miles of them -- are popping up around the city, which often means less room on the road for cars.
Actually it rarely means less room for cars. Usually no lanes or parking is removed. But so what if it is? Is there really no space on the roads for bike lanes? [Newcomer makes this bit of research a two-fer, by the way, as he has a second article that came out at the same time about how DC has invested, and plans to continue to invest, in bike lanes and green lanes.]
Even the photo that accompanies the story is flawed. It shows a cherry-picked moment when there is a line of cars but no bikes. But it shows a spot where the number of traffic lanes is exactly the same as it was before the bike lanes went in. The space on the left is a turn lane for cars. And adding to that, we can see that after the intersection, the road is pretty clear. This isn't a photo of traffic congestion; it's a shot of cars stopped at a traffic light.
So let's see, Newcomer seems to be asking for
1. No congestion
2. No parking fees
3. No traffic enforcement
4. No congestion fee - which is pretty much the only proven way to reduce congestion
5. Heavily regulated parking policy for buildings
In other words, an impossible - and irresponsible - laundry list of items to provide.