Social Question

stanleybmanly's avatar

Has your city (like mine) declared all out open war on automobiles?

Asked by stanleybmanly (23336points) 1 week ago from iPhone

In more ways than I can list San Francisco continues to aggressively render both ownership and operation of a car more onerous. How are things where you live?

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28 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I have yet to hear any gun fire and artillery shelling, so probably not.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not war, but there is a steady movement in downtown Atlanta to make driving more difficult on the downtown streets, and make the streets more walker-friendly.

The problem here at least, is that it won’t work. There isn’t a ‘downtown’ tightly defined. – it stretches for blocks and blocks.

The city planners may try, but if they want business to happen downtown, they need to let people get there.

JLeslie's avatar

No. I live in Florida and I don’t feel like owning a car is under attack. Where I live it is a golf cart community, so a lot of people use golf carts to get around instead of cars, but still there are plenty of cars driving around, and plenty of people in my state who have more cars than people in the house. Also, in most places around the state there is plenty of parking, where I live in particular there is always space available, except for major events it gets a little tight sometimes.

I lived on Miami Beach for a while years ago, and even there I could find parking, but it was a little less convenient, more urban. Parking garages and street parking.

Florida charges a lot to first register a car, but then it is cheap to renew registration. Some states, like North Carolina and Virginia, charge property tax on your car every year, so to me that is a deterrent.

Edit: I should add that I think it is a failure in my community that we don’t have convenient public transportation, and a problem that my community is so spready out. I love where I live, but that is the one thing in the model that I think is bad design.

Demosthenes's avatar

SF is the worst for that, but SF has basically declared war on life in general.

My town is notoriously uncaring about pedestrians and cyclists. It took years and several deaths to put crosswalks across a dangerous six-lane thoroughfare. And I’m sure it was done reluctantly. My town prizes cutesiness and “rural” feel above practicality and safety (even making things more difficult for automobiles). It’s finally begun to wake up in recent years.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Nope, we’re on Route 66, traditionally we have an obsession with vehicles, especially classics. But we do have great pedestrian trails, crosswalks, safety curbs on the overpasses and things. I think it’s a pretty great balance for everyone.

Of course we are spready out like @JLeslie. :)

hello321's avatar

Unfortunately not.

jca2's avatar

I live in a relatively rural area so you need a car to get around. There are no sidewalks and the roads are narrow, twisty and can be hilly, and if you try to walk anywhere distant you might be hit by a car. There are not many pedestrians at all for that reason. Even bike riding is risky.

Someone in my family lives in NYC, and she said that because it’s so tough to get a parking space and to deal with alternate side of the street parking, people who own cars will store the cars in Westchester or New Jersey, and if they want to take the car out, say on a weekend, they’ll have to take the train to Westchester or NJ to pick the car up, or an alternative is renting a car.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Oops! Typo. Lol.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The city exploited the pandemic induced absence of traffic to feverishly (no pun intended) accelerate its decades old effort toward suppressing autos, and the town has been transformed.

capet's avatar

@stanleybmanly This is not really an answer but I’m interested in what you think.

It seems to me as an outsider that SF is simultaneously
a) doing everything you say, and making it hard to operate a car, and
b) making it so you pretty much need a car, because the public transit is trash and the housing market makes it impossible to live near your job.

Do you agree with that?

Zaku's avatar

No, but I have lived places where the parking rules were insane. Oh, and Seattle lowered their default speed limit to 20 MPH LMFAO.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@capet I would agree with everything except your assessment of public transportation. Compared to most American cities, public transportation here is probably second only to New York. Muni has slipped since the days of the 1960s and the 5 cent fares, but nowadays the concentration of lyft and uber drivers in this town has rendered travel within the city the equivalent of a 2 minute wait for a ride. In fact if you open the ride hailing apps, you can see them infesting the maps like scurrying ants In every neighborhood. A wait for more than 2 minutes is a rare event. You don’t summon a ride here unless you are headed out the door. But if you are accustomed to owning a car, you are either blessed with a garage or your life is dedicated to perpetual vigilance regarding it. If you have the extraordinary luck to own a house purchased 10 years ago with a garage, you can probably rent that garage out at a rate that will cover your mortgage. If you own the house outright, it is equivalent to existing on an island of truce in the midst of a great battlefield.

kritiper's avatar

We love our cars here. Once, when some were seeking to get people to drive more fuel efficient cars, many commented to the effect of “You can have my large powerful SUV when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.” And, with all the large 4X4’s I see, that sentiment is still true.

Coolguy97's avatar

Yes they have. Here in Victoria BC they make life a hell on Earth for drivers. They keep introducing new bike lines and making sure Downtown is pedestrian friendly. The parking rules are also insane. Many young people here don’t even own cars as it’s not “environmentally friendly.” I have had friends tell me that I should just get around by riding a bike.

Smashley's avatar

Nobody drives in New York. There’s too much traffic.

I see a lot of this kind of stuff, and frankly, I’m glad for it. Yes, it makes city centers more difficult to access and navigate, but come on; cars are totally stupid, even if we do need them right now. In the future we will laugh at how people payed massive amounts of money for personal transportation, and the associated insurance, and then kept their car parked 90% of the time.

I see the arrival of self driving cars as eventually leading to the end of all human drivers and car ownership in densely populated areas. It’ll just be easier, safer, more convenient, cheaper and less polluting, and will massively increase the construction and density potential within cities, as you won’t need nearly so much room for cars.

Bikes might get the boot too, just because they’re dangerous and unpredictable in heavily populated areas.

zenvelo's avatar

Since the mid teens of this century, San Francisco traffic had been so bad that something needed to be done. The City, though, decided to make it difficult for private auto owners to drive, when the real problem was the thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers clogging the streets.

Making Market Street bus, cab, and street car only has not helped.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. But other drivers have declared open war on us. I swear to God. When they turn on their cars they turn off their brains.

gondwanalon's avatar

You want to talk about car war. There’s a real war on US roads. 38,000 people are killed per year or 4.7 people are killed each hour. And there’s the thousands of crippled survivors. We have terrible traffic congestion here in Tacoma-Seattle area. If seems like most of the drivers are out for blood with their tailgating, unsafe lane changes and ignoring posted speed limits signals and stop signs.

Weird how world news lights up when a plane goes down with a couple hundred people on board but no one gives a damn about the slaughter that goes on our roads.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ and it’s so avoidable. Yesterday no fewer than 5 people started to pull out in front of us, and one person actually DID pull out in front of us, which, of course sent Rick into an apopolytic fit of road rage which always helps a situation.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s an extraordinary change, the number of traffic lanes that have been eliminated, and what it portends once the pandemic subsides. But it set me to thinking, and I came to realize that it matters little to me since I have long since habituated myself to avoiding the central city in daylight hours. Shopping for anything downtown has been an expensive and logistical nightmare for some 40 years. So it’s always the 2 mile 10 minute trip to the suburbs in preference to the 20 minute (if I’m lucky) video game death ride, parking fee extortion downtown excursion.

ragingloli's avatar

Since gun nuts like to point to car accidents to justify their ammosexual inclinations, cars and their drivers are highly regulated. Mandatory driving school, speed limits, traffic laws, seatbelt laws, traffic lights and traffic signs, safety regulations and safety standards in manufacturing.
And as you can see, the rate of car accidents and fatalities has been steadily declining, so those regulations work.

Kropotkin's avatar

I would love an all out open war on cars.

Come to think of it, that’s how I’d use a 100k zombie army https://www.fluther.com/226131/what-would-you-do-if-you-had-command-of-a-zombie/

hello321's avatar

^ I’ll donate my 100k zombie army to the cause as well.

tinyfaery's avatar

It’s a nightmare to drive in SF for so many reasons. The public transport has always gotten me everywhere I needed to go. I don’t see a problem. SF will be a better place with fewer cars.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, traffic controls are being put in downtown to discourage cars, such as reducing number of lanes, installing roundabouts, establishing mini parks in place of parking and returning one way streets to two ways again.

kritiper's avatar

AAH! We are becoming urban prisoners!

stanleybmanly's avatar

But it’s the motor vehicle fees which pay for those traffic lanes.

kritiper's avatar

@stanleybmanly Also gasoline/diesel taxes.

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