By on December 29, 2021

If there’s anything that’ll get my stomach into a twist, it’s the government talking about the merits of reducing people’s ability to own things. Fortunately, the 36-hour flu I just experienced made me nigh-invulnerable and someone had forwarded me the latest on what U.K. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Transport Trudy Harrison had to say about personal vehicle ownership. She’s very keen on public transpiration but not so interested in the plebian masses having access to their own, individual modes of transport.

Earlier this month, she told a virtual audience at shared transport charity CoMoUK that the United Kingdom needed to move away from “20th-century thinking centered around private vehicle ownership and towards greater flexibility, with personal choice and low carbon shared transport.” 

Though the matter is hardly isolated to the U.K. In the United States, the San Diego Association of Government’s board of directors has recently passed its annual Regional Transportation Plan that originally included a provision to charge drivers a fee for literally every single mile driven. It’s sort of like the fuel tax, but worse since it applies an additional 4 cents per mile regardless of whether you’re burning liquid fuel or sourcing it from the grid using an electric vehicle.

Fortunately, that particular item received sufficient opposition to have it taken out of the plan. However, the board hinted that it wanted to revisit the item at a later date because it believes the entire premise of its existence is to create a 30-year blueprint that encourages the region (encompassing 18 Californian cities) to transition away from personal vehicle ownership as a way to enhance public transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While she never weighed in on it, we’re under the assumption that the UK’s transport minister is of a similar mind.

“Changing the way people consider car ownership and dependency will take time,” Harrison said during the CoMoUK conference. “Many things seem far fetched until they aren’t and I believe the same is true for shared mobility.”

I’m only aware of Minister Trudy Harrison’s position thanks to Motorious’ Steven Symes, who has been tracking the issue and likewise tied the U.K. plotting to what’s been happening on the Western Coast of the United States:

If you think this plan is limited to just the UK, you haven’t been paying attention. There have been other efforts to make private vehicle ownership a thing of the past, including a new measure in Southern California. The 2021 Regional Transportation Plan passed recently by the San Diego Association of Government’s board of directors is a $160 billion initiative just for the metropolitan area to boost public transportation.

That’s a hefty price tag for such a small area, so one of the ways officials have been planning to fund it is by levying a per-mile driving tax against citizens. That was such an unpopular move it was shelved, for now. But I have a funny feeling that driving tax is going to be revisited. Critics say that and other fines, fees, etc. are designed to nuke personal vehicle ownership for all but the wealthy. Expect to see similar measures in other cities and maybe entire states/territories in North America and beyond in the near future.

As unpleasant as politics are, if car enthusiasts and really everyone who enjoys going where they please when they please in their privately-owned vehicle don’t start taking a stand, our freedoms could be severely restricted in ways many have thought weren’t possible. Failing to do something to stop this push will end poorly for just about everyone.

Still, I am exceptionally pleased to say that some have been heeding the above advice, especially after it seems like I spent a few years complaining about this stuff in relative isolation. Despite routine pushback from government and corporate interests, the right-to-repair movement has grown exponentially with a clear interest in defending personal ownership rights. Also, one of the primary reasons San Diego failed to pass the mile usage tax unchanged was partially due to intervention from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association — a nonpartisan association of individuals, businesses, and organizations who promote effective and efficient government benefiting taxpayers.

The group claimed San Diego’s Regional Planning Agency (SANDAG) lacked accountability and was attempting to push through sweeping initiatives that weren’t in the best interest of the citizenry, citing a particular absence of transparency in how the Regional Transportation Plan had been handled.

“While the association recognizes the importance of SANDAG and understands that addressing challenges as one region is largely more efficient than each agency working alone, we express concern over potential inequities and under-representation at member agencies,” said President/CEO of San Diego County Taxpayers Association Haney Hong. “The purpose of SANDAG is to serve as one regional hub to address our collective challenges, but there is no current requirement or consistent practice for board members to consult with their municipal colleagues in a structured, public way at their agencies. There needs to be a formal, transparent process before coming to the SANDAG board room by which each of you, as representatives of your agencies, collect input from your fellow municipal elected leaders and the constituents you collectively represent. Without debates at your member agency, there is no assurance that you are not simply voting for your priorities.”

Bipartisan support for these kinds of issues (which the San Diego County Taxpayers Association has) will be essential because all parties are now trumpeting the green horn without really taking much time to consider the ramifications of the relevant policies or what the public actually wants. Swinging back to the United Kingdom, Ms. Harrison is actually a Conservative Member of Parliament. So is Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and he’s been championing new road taxes and reducing private vehicle ownership since he was elected as London’s mayor way back in 2008.

Their party (or at least Johnson faction) currently believes it can achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and has already committed billions toward funding ways of encouraging citizens to walk or bicycle. It has also decided against ruling out a U.K. provision to effectively ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2030 and hopes to make it legal for people to ride e-scooters on public roadways ASAP. Having driven in Los Angeles, where the streets are awash with suicidal e-scooters and the city has dumped billions onto go-nowhere transpiration or mobility projects, I cannot personally think of anything less appetizing.

[Update 12/29/2021: A number of readers have claimed this article doesn’t cite enough Western leaders and/or cities to be valid. Therefore, I’ve decided to remedy the matter. Incoming mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, is implementing congestion-charging in Manhattan to decrease driving. Cleveland’s new mayor, Justin Bibb, has suggested converting existing car lines into protected bike lanes and having new zones where cars cannot go as part of of his sweeping “people over cars” initiative. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has similar promised free bussing as a way to discourage personal vehicle ownership. Granted, these things can be seen as positives and I’m all for people getting some exercise. But I have also seen all of the above, minus Adams, explicitly mention that it would a good thing to have fewer people owning vehicles. Meanwhile, automakers have been proposing new business models revolving around the concept of shared ownership (spoiler: they own the car if you don’t) for years. 

One Sunday per month, Paris bans cars from the entire city. London currently bans private cars from certain downtown areas. Oslo has been gradually eliminating public parking to discourage people from owning cars. Madrid has even gone so far as to ban all older cars in a hilarious attempt to reduce pollution but has has actually forced citizens to buy new vehicles that would not have otherwise needed to be manufactured. 

The United States is currently where Europe was a couple of decades ago, when the continent started introducing vehicle restrictions, widespread congestion charging, and new taxes designed to discourage driving. On the one hand, major cities did see a decline in vehicle ownership. But it ultimately just made the point of entry higher, making cars exclusive to well-heeled urbanites. Plebian consumers could skimp and save up for that 1.3-liter shitbox. But those wanting something with a bigger engine and comfortable legroom needed to be well-heeled. That strikes me as decidedly unfair, unproductive, and ultimately un-American.]

[Image: Karl_Sonnenberg/Shutterstock]

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145 Comments on “More Western Leaders Call for the End of Private Vehicle Ownership...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Once again, conspiracy theory comes conspiracy fact.

    “[Minister] Harrison is actually a Conservative Member of Parliament.”

    Who knew the Uniparty was transnational?

    “hopes to make it legal for people to ride e-scooters on public roadways”

    This is fine, requirements are:
    1. pay annual registration/road tax
    2. buy full coverage insurance.

    Otherwise, absolutely not.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      3. Restrict e-scooters to roads where they can keep up with traffic.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “Once again, conspiracy theory comes conspiracy fact.”

      Yep. Just like with Covid. Everything that was labeled a conspiracy theory has come true. Vaxx passports, endless lockdowns, vaccines don’t work, etc.

      The problem is that there are billions of people (81 million dead and alive in the USA) that have no problem with giving the government total control over their lives. Then they label those of us who want to be left alone as insurrectionists, conspiracy theorists, domestic terrorists, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        1/6 was a domestic terror attack on the capitol, in order to cancel a valid presidential election

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          “1/6 was a domestic terror attack on the capitol, in order to cancel a valid presidential election”

          Lol good one.

          It was a peaceful demonstration by lib standards. And one BEAUTIFUL thing to come out of 1/6 was seeing our disgusting politicians cower in fear. Let them never forget whos in charge. We are….not them.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            EB – exactly. Those American sissies politicians.
            I remember when thousands of tanks came to Moscow to arrest Boris Yeltsin. He did not hide. He climbed right on top of one and gave a speech to remember.
            This year, in Belarus, Lukashenko pulled off his jacket and went right into the raging crowd and talked literally face to face with protesters.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          LOLOLOLOLOL. Probably a waste of typing, but please understand the State is very good at projection. They without a doubt pulled off the second successful coup d’etat in the US in the past hundred years. They then orchestrated a fake “attack” and then pummel it 24/7 into your consciousness effectively substituting their real coup with the staged “attack” which they then started calling an “attempted coup”. Get it? Reichstag Fire 2021 edition.

          “projection, the mental process by which people attribute to others what is in their own minds. For example, individuals who are in a self-critical state, consciously or unconsciously, may think that other people are critical of them.”

          https://www.britannica.com/science/projection-psychology

          “”Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

          “There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, ****and in the United States only Congress can declare wars****.”

          “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is ****tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger****. It works the same way in any country.””

          -Comments from Hermann Goering to Gustave Gilbert, April 18, 1946.

          Star emphasis my own.

          http://www.mit.edu/people/fuller/peace/war_goering.html

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            28,
            Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini were war heroes. Are there any in US dem party today? Isn’t John Kerry the closest we’ve got?

            Now, lets look at the children
            One one side Stalin’s son, who fired his anti-tank cannon until ran out of ammo, by which time he was totally surrounded by Germans and ended up in concentration camp. Second Stalin’s son was a pilot with 94 sorties and 4 victories. Stalin also adopted son of his friend and this dude also fought in the war, was wounded and later became creator of a branch of the military.

            On the other side, Hunter, Chelsea, …

            The point – we’re becoming exactly what became of Germany. Look who governs that country. Bunch of trunk slammers.

        • 0 avatar
          zerofoo

          If you want to see what a domestic terror attack looks like see Afghanistan after our withdrawal.

          The Taliban toppled the national army in a week.

          How could 1/6 be a domestic terror attack without weapons?

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            That “national army” existed only on paper. It really shows how misinformed and misdirected American populace is. When Biden said that they have 300,000 strong army, I nearly choked on whatever I was eating.
            Because according to my sources they had only quarter of that. Most recruits would receive their first pay, some equipment and disappear with all that. Then these American backpacks and rations, and uniforms, and other stuff that soldier receives, would be sold on different markets around Afghanistan.
            But most ridiculous is that DOD knew that. And never reported to the President or to the news. And another thing that was known but not reported is that as soon as Biden announced the date of withdrawal, even those Afghans who stayed with the military, started to leave. And we knew it.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This is when you miss Stalin. I would just write an anonymous letter to NKVD and Harrison would be taken away around 11:30pm.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        Yeah – one of those “miss Stalin” moments, for sure.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        There’s a guy in China who keeps telling us Stalin is underrated and who is emulating Stalin’s way of dealing with inconvenient ethnic minorities. Perhaps you should explore life under his rule.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          There is a historical evidence that China let Stalin to rest. The very orientation of China to US happened because Khrushchev abandoned Stalinism. Mao was angry, because he was Stalinist and in his view Khrushchev was a revisionist. Today, Russia completely abandoned Stalinism and China has relations with Russia as friendly as ever before. This means that China moved passes Stalinism.
          As far as how China deals with what I believe you meaning – Uighur people; I would suggest to you to do more research on it. I wouldn’t generalize anything. Just keep in mind that whatever the relation between China-Uighurs, similar situation exist between Turkey-Kurds. But you never hear about it on TV. What about Hamas-Gaza people? They don’t talk much on TV about Uyghur ISIS groups, do they not? No doubt, China is no softie there but first, you – research the problem.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Xi in 2018: “I believe that, for real communists, Stalin weighs no less than Lenin, and in a percentage of right decisions, he doesn’t even have an equal in world history.”

            I also think it’s strange to claim that Putinism is a complete abandonment of Stalinism. While the level of brutality is lower, the approach has more similarities to Stalin’s than anything that happened between Khrushchev and the fall of the Soviet Union. The nationalism and the use of war and ethnic conflict as domestic political tools are straight from Stalin’s playbook.

            Nobody is excusing Turkey here. It already committed genocide against both Armenians and Kurds and seems to be wanting to do it to Kurds again. Erdogan would be a pariah in the West if his country weren’t situated in such a strategically critical location. But China is many times bigger than Turkey and has much more world influence. And both countries use terrorist incidents committed by a tiny number of people, not to try and convict those people, but as a paper-thin justification for genocide against an entire ethnicity.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          “I believe that, for real communists, Stalin weighs no less than Lenin”

          You see, he said – “for real communists”. Is Xi a real communist? Haha – nope. Even Stalin wasn’t a communist. Stalin removed communists/bolsheviks and took all powers from all positions in the government to become a dictator with absolute power. Communists did not imagine that 1 man will rule. The very word “Soviet” (should be “sovet”) means “summit” and implies that groups of people must make decision with the top soviet would be a Supreme Soviet, politburo, something like this https://tinyurl.com/2p8tahye
          After Stalin soviets ensured nothing less that another Stalin will not happen. And when Khrushchev was removed, his famous words were – “I gave you the system which permitted you to do this”.

          “I also think it’s strange to claim that Putinism is a complete abandonment of Stalinism. While the level of brutality is lower, the approach has more similarities to Stalin’s than anything that happened between Khrushchev and the fall of the Soviet Union. The nationalism and the use of war and ethnic conflict as domestic political tools are straight from Stalin’s playbook.”

          I think, you are seriously off here. Putin brutality? He is a softie. You don’t even know all the things that happened “between Khrushchev and the fall of the Soviet Union”. Lets say, if you criticized the system, you could endup in the hospital for crazies. Because only crazy could criticize such great system. Or you could endup shot by military if you show mass disobedience https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novocherkassk_massacre

          Don’t kid yourself. Putin is nothing like USSR.

          “use of war and ethnic conflict” – serious? Nobody united 100+ ethnicities in Russia like Putin. Putin has been great uniter. Check this pic
          http://sputnikimages.com/images/old_preview/252/21/2522175_preview_wm.jpg

          Khrushchev was real bad in the ethnic questions. He hated everyone – Jews, Chinese, you name it. He treated them like untermersch. Stalin at the end of his life went totally paranoid against Jews.

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      CaddyDaddy is in search of new conspiracy theories as all the one I’ve heard came true. :(

  • avatar
    jmo2

    “ Trudy Lynne Harrison (born 19 April 1976) is a British Conservative Party politician …”

    No surprise there.

    I would add that a per mile tax is needed as we move away from ICE – how else would you propose racing EVs? That it’s some vast conspiracy is just Posky clickbait nonsense.

    Also the pop up ads are an abomination and make this site almost unreadable.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      They keep printing everything they need, such a tax is no longer needed at all.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo2

        I didn’t know you were a proponent of Modern Monetary Theory..

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’m not but that’s what they are doing since they don’t consult me with their policies.

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          Is that the theory that if you give money to the military and the wealthy, it is as god intended. if you give it to actual tax payers to help people, it is “printing money!!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Helping” people would be to rescind the taxes on the working class – which is NOT defined as the existing welfare recipient class. Notgonnahappen since the taxes in MMT now act only as a control mechanism to prevent leaving the working class while simultaneously the value of money for all is eroded.

            You know the Soviets did “MMT” in the early 1920s, and it destroyed the ruble and the peasantry the latter by design. Later the peasants were forced to come into the cities, and some were abducted to be sent to uninhabited areas the Soviets wanted to effectively colonize.

            https://www.amazon.com/Cannibal-Island-Siberian-against-Humanity/dp/0691130833

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      The U.S. Census Bureau has spending for highway and street by around 20% between 2008 and 2020. Within the same timeframe, the annual average expenditure on public transit per consumer unit in the United States went from $513 to $818. The money is there, it’s simply being wasted. I spent many a year using the MTA and it’s a primo example of how inefficient a lot of this stuff is.

      But the rhetoric being used by electric officials about how regular people need to pay more for everything to a point where personal vehicles become totally unaffordable is something new. If you’re happy with that, by all means, support the cause. But claiming that this new trend doesn’t exist seems foolish. I’m not saying these people will get their way, I’m just trying to hip everyone to the fact that they’re trying and its the regular folks that will be the ones paying the price for their decisions.

      And I’m not a big fan of those pop ups either.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        They haven’t been shy about it either, its just not focused on by the State Media apparatus they control. We’ve been talking about a return to a variant of feudalism for years on this site, this is just another example of it getting closer to prime time.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Posky

          Agreed. Authoritarian principles aren’t limited to governments. They’re frequently echoed or advanced by large corporations seeking predatory ways of making more money. I have plenty of disdain to share for politicians and CEOs alike.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “I’m just trying to hip everyone to the fact that they’re trying and its the regular folks that will be the ones paying the price for their decisions.”

        If that’s your intent, then I’d suggest a) getting your facts (like “Minister of Transportation”) straight WITHOUT being prompted by your readership to do so, and 2) not making the opinion of one elected official in the U.K. and one governmental agency in San Diego into “Western Leaders want to take away cars.”

        Otherwise, the argument soon becomes about the shortcomings of your argument, not the problem you want to highlight.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Posky

          Technically, I think what you’re doing is called being pedantic.

          I don’t even know what you actually believe. I just know that no matter what the topic, you’ll be on here somewhere saying “nuh-uh” and pointing out small errors missed by the editor while adding nothing of substance to the matter at hand. You’re even still upset after the article was updated to cater to you. Though I suppose it was my mistake for thinking that would have resulted in productive discourse.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Matt, I believe this is productive discourse. Not every comment will be a sonnet.. I’m certainly guilty of that more often than I’d want to admit.

            Sometimes it takes a winding road to get where we’re going. The dialogue will get us there, even when (especially when) it’s a frustrating experience.

            As we have seen recently through censorship, ‘othering’, shutting down discussion, questions, debate, etc, the alternative to difficult conversations is not something we should put on the table, no matter how much some would like exactly that.

          • 0 avatar
            Bluegas

            God the wanna be writers in the comment section on this site are ridiculous. I live in MA and know first hand about this very thing in this article. They’ve been trying to do this for years starting with Deval Patrick ten years ago. These commenters are lazy people who come here just to argue! There is no discourse, only a handful of people who think their opinions in the comment section are of any value.

            To further what is truly happening in the car world, and life in general of the Build Back Better plan, You’ll own nothing and be happy!

            The Build Back Better plan isn’t even Biden’s or Democrats plan, it’s Klaus Schwabs’ plan and several world leaders around the world are following it to a T!

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Technically, I think what you’re doing is called being pedantic.”

            I’d say what you’re doing is called being alarmist. One regional government agency in San Diego and one undersecretary in the UK does NOT add up to consensus of “Western Leaders” that car ownership should be abolished, and neither has the authority to do so.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        theyre doing a LOT of freeway upgrades that are long overdue here

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “Also the pop up ads are an abomination and make this site almost unreadable.”

      How about use an ad blocker?

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      In the UK, “Conservative” just means less liberal.

    • 0 avatar
      VWGolfGuy

      @jmo2

      Then only charge EV drivers per mile taxes. ICE drivers already paying state and fed taxes per mile via fuel taxes.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Well, the voters will decide. If they want to vote in politicians who support these kind of measures, then they will get them. I’m honestly getting kind of tired of the implications that these people just appear in power. They get voted in, unless you live in a dictatorship.

    On that note, none of this is gonna make any difference if China does not follow suit. You cannot solve global warming if a very large percentage of the globe is not participating in a meaningful way! Duh.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I think the issue is that most voters simply don’t have a strong understanding of who or what they’ve voting for, which is understandable considering how long it takes to actually study any single issue — at least to a point of real sense making. Politicians are also famous for lying and promises made do not mean promises kept.

      Officially China doesn’t have to adhere to Paris Climate Accords until 2030. Though it’s current emissions would suggest it’s not interested in them when the big day finally comes.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “…most voters simply don’t have a strong understanding of who or what they’ve voting for…”

        I think most voters would have a pretty clear understanding of “I don’t think you should be able to have a car anymore.”

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Vehicle ownership is different in the UK, I think the “you can’t own a car” thing would break down similar to Brexit numbers (51.89% to 48.11% btw).

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Whether it’s here or there, cars are personal property, bought and paid for with their own money by voters. The UK has laws dealing with this, just as we do.

            Good luck taking them away without a HUGE political backlash.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        OK that’s a fair point Matt. I respect it. However, I don’t necessarily consider myself a student of politics but even I could see during the campaign that Biden was not being subtle about his commitment to “addressing” climate change.

        He never would commit to US energy production. He got a little coy when he got called out on the fracking ban, but that was a transparent pander as he needed PA. He never fully stood behind US energy production.

        So this had to mean that we were gonna be seeing either mass electrification (good luck) or, more likely, curtailing automobile use through higher fuel prices, It logically follows that if that doesn’t work then there could be vehicle bans. Such a thing would be totally consistent with this administration’s policy, and it will not surprise me if it is proposed, in, say, urban areas.

        And given the eagerness to follow vaccine mandates in these areas, I think it would work if it was sold right; i.e. the public health crisis of climate change I don’t think many Americans are as driven by private property rights as past generations were, as can be evidenced by strong support for things like rent control and eviction ban, which decidedly do not respect property rights.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          I think the biggest American tragedy is gonna end up proving to be conservative flight from urban areas. Because all that did was allow leftism to grow and fester in huge population centers that are so strong, they can influence the direction of the rest of the country. I’d been saying that for years but now we’re seeing it come to a fruition.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            Considering how weighted to rural areas our system of government is – Wyoming gets as many senators as California but has one-thirtieth the population of greater Los Angeles – I’d think any conservative would welcome this self-sorting.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            On paper sure. Sounds good. Let ’em stew in their own juices. But then there’s that little problem of people leaving liberal cities and states for red states and voting for the same policies which ruined their home states…

            Very ironically to Trump supporters, I think the only thing that’s gonna turn the blue tide will be the conservative move of Hispanic voters. Hopefully that’s a real thing, or conservativism is sunk.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            SuperD – conservatism is not sunk, not at all. Well, maybe traditional conservatism is (blame the Trump effect for that). Right now (no pun intended) they have most of the cards in their hand. The SCOTUS has shifted hard right and their recent rulings give a snapshot of what is to come and unless your are white, wealthy and religious, its not good news. The right has passed laws to make voting more difficult for those who vote Democratic. The Republicans have the upper hand in gerrymandering – something the Dems do too, but not nearly as effectively. They are sure to grab control of the House and Senate in the midterms, which will allow them to stop Biden’s agenda. It will also allow them the possibility to steal another SCOTUS seat (McConnell’s actions were as anti- American as you can get when he refused Obama’s very moderate nominee). They control all the rural areas, which have outsized control relative to their populations….I could go on but the future of America is clear – we will go Authoritarian in the next 10 years, especially if T-Rump wins in 2024. My suggestion is that Democrats need to stop being anti gun and arm up – we are going to need them to fight the Fascists. Sad to think that this is the future of America, and I hope I’m wrong as wrong can be, but I’m pretty sure that unless something happens to end the hard divide in this country, the democracy we all grew up with will be gone….”All Animals are Equal but some are more equal than others”…how prescient Orwell was.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            @golden2husky – In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Democrat, well, I was until the party went off the deep end by kowtowing to a small minority which should be its own socialist party.

            Gerrymandering goes both ways. I live in Illinois and the Democrats pretty much just gerrymandered the Republicans out of existence in state politics. So the Democrats can and will do that too wherever they can get away with it. And it would be virtually impossible for a Republican to win any office in Chicago or Cook County. The Lord Jesus Christ himself would get thrashed if he had an “R” by his name. And that is true in most of our major population centers, even those in red states.

            I’m no fan of Republicans in general and I think they dug their own grave insofar as their current unpopularity is concerned. But a one party system is never good. That I do not want to see, even if it is by the party I historically supported. We need to tread carefully here.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Yawn, more FUD and paranoia. [eye roll]

    I’m not sure why I even check this blog anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      No paranoia, the UK Transport Minister Trudy Harrison is being quoted directly.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Trudy Harrison is not the UK Transportation Minister. She’s one of four undersecretaries of transportation. It took me about two minutes to figure that out via Google and the UK government website, which the author didn’t bother to do.

        The last person in Great Britain who could have unilaterally decided to end private ownership of anything was King Charles I, and he’s been dead for almost 400 years.

        I’m afraid Ms. Harrison, formidable as she might be, isn’t going to get this done unless the voters in the U.K. go along with her. And if they do, that’s their business.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Please see below… and I do not believe the goal is to abolish all private property which I do not believe was being suggested.

          However expanding on the proposed concept beyond automobiles, it seems they want to create a rentier society of what we could deem essentials to modern living (real estate, transport, travel, electronics). In this way people are dependent on whomever does own these things, if you add current events as the impetus of a control mechanism to participate in society it all starts to line up.

          Going further, what if US state governments chose to implement travel restrictions or checkpoints between states? I started carrying my US Passport on domestic flights because it was easier than fussing with Real ID (which we didn’t have here when I renewed) but the whole state’s rights thing may allow for some kind of state issued visa or passport in the future.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            “What if US state governments chose to implement travel restrictions or checkpoints between states?”

            Then they would be in violation of the Privileges and Immunities clause of the 14th amendment to the Constitution, which protects the right to pass freely from state to state.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Astigmatism:
            +1

            People tend to forget that there is a system of laws protecting things like travel, and ownership of private property like cars. Same is true in the UK. One member of parliament or government association in San Diego is NOT going to be able to Hoover up peoples’ cars unless the voters go along…and good luck with that.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Astigmatism

            We shall see.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            @Astigmatism,

            And law enforcement would never violate the constitution.

            Cough – illegal search and seizures related to eminent domain – cough.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            I’m not sure what your point is there, @jk. Illegal searches absolutely happen, and there are remedies for them when they do, including evidence, or entire convictions, being thrown out. Seizures through eminent domain are specifically discussed in the Constitution, so it’s a bit difficult to see how that one’s unconstitutional.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I doubt we will see something like this anytime soon. There will be enough people who will oppose this and any politician supporting this will be committing political suicide. Even most Californians will not stand for this. I have taken public transportation most of my life working in a downtown area which for commuting is good but beyond that it can be very inconvenient and time consuming for those who simply want to go to the store or visit a friend or relative and definitely inconvenient for those who do not work in a downtown area.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Mass transit has been on the table in San Diego County for many years. The restart of the trolley from downtown to the border 30 or so years ago and the government bleating about utilizing mass transit to solve traffic issues caused by personal vehicle usage has been going on for some time but the Brave New Green World angle is another arrow in their quiver. My personal experience was when I had to use the San Diego Metro Transit once for a week to get from my work on Coronado back to home up in Tierrasanta while my vehicle was out of service. The trip that took around 30 to 45 minutes depending upon traffic while driving needed two and a half to three hours using San Diego Metro Transit and involved at least three transfers. And one meets some very interesting folks while riding those buses, especially the guy with the folded cardboard engaging folks to play Three-Card Monte with him in the back row…

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I briefly had to commute in San Diego several years ago. I found it quite drivable vs most other Californian cities. Having spent years driving and using mass transit in NYC, I also decided to take a bus in SD to see how it compared. I quickly decided it would be the last time I would do that voluntarily.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “Western Leaders,” eh? Bold claim. Too bad the article is, to be charitable, a bit thin on the details.

    1) For starters, a quick Google search indicates that Trudy Harrison is NOT the “Government Transport Minister” of the United Kingdom – that would be Andrew Stephenson, who is the Minister of State for Transportation (https://www.gov.uk/government/people/andrew-stephenson). Ms. Harrison is, in fact, one of four undersecretaries of transportation, and is a member of Parliament. I’m no expert on the way the way the U.K. government runs, but I’m pretty sure Ms. Harrison is in no position to willy-nilly take away anyone’s private property.

    2) The article cites a government association in San Diego as being part of the “Western Leaders” who want to do away with private car ownership. And what are they doing to forward this nefarious agenda? Why, they tried to pass a surcharge on miles driven (which didn’t get passed), and called for more spending on public transit.

    So…the “Western Leadership” in question is one undersecretary in the U.K. and a government organization in San Diego, and neither party has the authority to ban car ownership. I had no idea that these two parties were the entirety of “Western Leadership.”

    Now, could it be that a) Ms. Harrison doesn’t unilaterally set transportation policy in the United Kingdom and b) the organization in San Diego would like to see more public and shared transport because the traffic there is awful, and taxpayers don’t want to pay for more roads? Nope. Clearly Ms. Harrison and the San Diego governmental association are the Anti-Car Trilateral Commission. They’re the “Western Leaders,” and what they say, goes.

    Sorry, but this article is trash. Maybe there is a move afoot to ban car ownership, and maybe it’s a good idea to talk about it. But I think writing an article that isn’t filled with inaccuracies, and jumps to conclusions, isn’t the way to get people talking.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Minister or Undersecretary, Harrison is a UK government official and speaks for their government unless it is later indicated otherwise in a retraction. The idea is likely being floated as a trial balloon to see how much opposition there is for it.

      Agenda 2030 -which is clearly searchable- lays out a number of lofty goals including control of emissions. Officials of the PRK have long parroted the same rhetoric, and its obvious they will use this justification to further whatever their agenda happens to be (likely neo-feudalism).

      I agree “Western Leadership” is a vague reference but could only include a handful of government officials, but some officials are cited in the article.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Minister or Undersecretary, Harrison is a UK government official and speaks for their government…”

        So, if a member of the government proposes an idea, that’s “speaking for the government”? Not even remotely true. Ms. Harrison is a member of the House of Commons, and is directly elected by her constituents, just like a member of the House of Representatives is here. And like a House member here, she can suggest what she wants, but unless her peers go along with it, then it’s just a bill on Capitol Hill. If voters don’t like what she proposes, then she’s out of a job. And I doubt UK voters are going to be real keen on giving up their cars, which at the most basic level are expensive pieces of property that they bought and paid for with their own money. If Ms. Harrison wants to take peoples’ cars away, then she’s got one hell of an uphill battle in front of her.

        “I agree “Western Leadership” is a vague reference…”

        Vague? That’s polite.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Posky

          I suppose I always assumed the trends of the day spoke for themselves. However I’ve noticed a few people making similar complaints about not having provided enough examples to make my case and forget that not everyone follows this stuff on a daily basis.

          Fair enough. I will be adding the following as part of an update:

          Incoming mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, is implement congestion-charging in Manhattan to decrease driving. Cleveland’s new mayor, Justin Bibb, has suggested converting existing car lines into protected bike lanes and having new zones where cars cannot go as part of of his sweeping “people over cars” initiative. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has similar promised free bussing as a way to discourage personal vehicle ownership. Granted, these things can be seen as positives and I’m all for people getting some exercise. But I have also seen all of the above, minus Adams, explicitly mention that it would a good thing to have fewer people owning vehicles. Meanwhile, automakers have been proposing new business models revolving around the concept of shared ownership (spoiler: they own the car if you don’t) for years. 

          One Sunday per month, Paris bans cars from the entire city. London bans private cars from certain areas. Oslo has been gradually eliminating public parking to discourage people from owning cars. Madrid has even gone so far as to ban all older cars in a hilarious attempt to reduce pollution but has has actually forced citizens to buy new vehicles that would not have otherwise needed to be manufactured. 

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            But again…none of the people you’re citing here are calling for the end of private vehicle ownership. If they do, then the voters have to make the final call. Good luck with that.

            In fact, if you asked these mayors what the most common pet peeve of their citizens is, “traffic sucks” will either be at the top of the list, or very close to it. And the reason traffic sucks is simple: too many cars on too few roads. And they know building more roads won’t help (ask the folks in L.A.), and will be astronomically expensive, so they’re trying to figure out a way to address the needs of their constituents. Framing this in environmental terms is a feel-good thing, but the basic intent is City Operations 101: keep people moving.

            Personally, I’m all for getting as many cars off the streets via mass transit as possible. Why? Because I’m sick of paying tax dollars to use a road system that’s clogged to a standstill at 10 am on a Sunday morning. The more people we can get off the roads and into transit, the less that happens…and the less we have to spend on roads.

            So why the nefarious “they’re coming for your cars” rhetoric? You and I know that’s not happening, and God help the political career of anyone who tries it.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Their government works differently, she is simultaneously the Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and still MP of Copeland. So she *is* an appointed UK government official and does speak for their government.

          “Trudy Harrison was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT) on 17 September 2021. She was elected Conservative MP for Copeland in 2017.”

          https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state–127

          https://members.parliament.uk/constituency/3425/overview

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Sorry, 28, you’re just not correct. One member of parliament does NOT speak for the entire UK government. And by your logic, any MP who speaks out against her proposal also “speaks for the UK government.” So what do the two MPs do to resolve it – argue? Thumb war? Have a Greco-Roman wrestling match? No, they put it to a vote in Parliament, and the side with the most votes wins. THAT’S when the UK government speaks. Ours, too.

            f Ms. Harrison wants her proposal put into law, she has one hell of an uphill battle on her hands.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Please understand, the MP part of the equation is irrelevant. She is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport working for the ruling government. The closest US equivalent would be Polly Trottenberg’s role as Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Transportation under Secy Buttigieg. The UK allows these gov’t positions to also be MPs, the US AFAIK would not let a sitting House rep work in one of these roles, they would have to resign. So yes it would be akin to Undersecy Trottenberg speaking for the Biden Administration, she *is* speaking for her government.

            “Her majesty’s principal secretaries of state, better known as secretaries of state, are senior ministers of the Crown in the Government of the United Kingdom.[1] Secretaries of state head most major government departments[2] and make up the majority of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom.[3] There are currently 16 different secretaries of state.[3] They are all also currently members of Parliament.[3]”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary_of_State_(United_Kingdom)

            https://www.transportation.gov/mission/meet-key-officials

            https://www.gov.uk/government/people/trudy-harrison

            https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state–127

    • 0 avatar
      Kruser

      I tend to agree. This is a sloppy and panicked article.
      Truth is, only the most radical are talking about banning private ownership. Instead, I see a rebalancing of options away from private car ownership towards public transportation, bikes, car sharing, etc. I don’t know that it needs to be threatening for car aficionados.
      We live in Turin, the car capital of Italy. No one here is talking about getting rid of cars, but they are restricting dirty vehicles. Frankly, I welcome it as the air quality here is terrible in the winter – I literally spend months with a burning throat checking an app to see if I can go jogging.
      For several years we’ve not had a car and relied on an electric car sharing service and public transportation. We finally settled on buying a hybrid this week as I (putting on my tinfoil hat) do see diesels getting pushed out hard in the next few years. I think the big govt push will be towards promoting electrification, but the levers will be economic rather than bans. When car sharing and self-driving cars become better options, people will naturally just shift in that direction. The people who want to own cars will be left to their own devices.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think you’ve nailed it on the first part. I can’t speak for Europe on the second part but in the US it has all been technocratic, Tesla is the only marque which is popular on its own merit and even it took a lot of dark pool money to get it there. It was nothing like the auto revolution of late 19th Century, which took off entirely on its own.

  • avatar
    NigelShiftright

    “printing everything they need, such a tax is no longer needed”

    Why, you big silly! What makes you think this tax is about raising revenue?

    What it’s really about is penalizing the average citizen for doing something that, in the Almost Perfect State, should be reserved for the political, financial, and entertainment elites.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Good grief. Anyone with a basic understanding of geometry can see that we need to reduce the amount of private vehicle ownership in the most built-up urban areas, including both New York and the central cities in California (the only cited examples in the US). But that doesn’t mean your car is in danger. The vast majority of the US in particular is built around car usage. There is a shortage of housing in areas that will be reducing car ownership and ample housing available in areas that won’t. This is going to be about enabling people who want to move into the city and walk or bike places to afford that, not about the jackbooted thugs coming for you.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Perhaps not. But it does make cars more expensive to own and rules often trickle beyond the confines of densely populated urban areas where legislators spend a lot of their time. Driving laws that were once exclusive to European cities have since made their way to smaller municipalities. I would even argue that San Diego (a modestly sized city) doesn’t need to enact the same rules as an LA or San Francisco.

      Cities absolutely need to be made more sustainable, though perhaps the solution isn’t to reduce cars and make everything more expensive. Maybe it’s to make it so people do not need to live on top of each other to begin with. Though I did just move away from NYC, so I am admittedly biased.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “Maybe it’s to make it so people do not need to live on top of each other to begin with.”

        They don’t need to. But the extreme prices in places like, well, downtown San Diego suggest they want to. There are relatively few places like that in the US and much more demand for them than supply.

        While our house (in Seattle, but in a quasi-suburban area) is being renovated, we’re living in a small townhouse in Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s densest neighborhoods. Yes, there’s less space, and it’s car-hostile (the garage barely fits our Bolt and there is no street parking for the Highlander, which will live near the old house). But then again the grocery store, the drugstore, and at least 15 restaurants are all within 400 feet from our house, and I can bike 7-8 minutes (or walk 20) to work. Those are real advantages and real reasons people would choose to live closer together.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I largely agree, though I do believe the long term goal is a total phaseout in certain regions. Those regions may allow limited use, i.e. classic and antique, so I implore everyone to look into this if you have something cherry you want to hang onto for any length of time.

      On the housing shortage -which has been going on long before 2020- I truly believe all of the money and energy directed at EV should be redirected to solving this national crisis. We *don’t need* EV, but we *do need* housing.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Honestly, the best way to solve our housing shortage would be deregulation. The market could fix it for 85% of the income distribution if it were allowed to. But building net new housing is difficult or impossible in the places where people want it most.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          How can people get involved? Seattle is ideal to prototype those changes.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            We’re trying! There’s a lot of resistance from wealthy homeowners who don’t want to add any more people around them, so it’s been a battle. But honestly ground zero for this sort of thing is the Bay Area, and to a slightly lesser extent Los Angeles. There has been some progress at opening up housing development in those metros just in the last couple of years, but far more is needed.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @dal:

            The reason the wealthy homeowners in your neck of the wood don’t want more housing density is the same reason wealthy homeowners in Boulder don’t want it – the value of their property goes down.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            But the property value doesn’t go down! It goes up, because of the development potential. I’ve come to believe that it’s less about property value and more about fears: of people who are less wealthy, white, or old than the existing residents moving in, of harder parking and worse car traffic, that the trees will disappear (which doesn’t have to happen).

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            dal20402:
            “I’ve come to believe that it’s less about property value and more about fears: of people who are less wealthy, white, or old than the existing residents moving in, of harder parking and worse car traffic, that the trees will disappear (which doesn’t have to happen).”

            The phrase “the character of our neighborhood” is how people say this impolite thing, in a polite-sounding way.

            I used to take phrases like this at face-value, but I’m too experienced to pretend they’re anything other than a polite way to say an ugly thing.

            I’d be happy to make a list of other code-phrases, but that would just make people angry when they realize their euphemisms aren’t so euphemistic anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dal

            The thing with Cali is you’re dealing with a different county and state gov’t, I’m not familiar with your state’s gov’t but perhaps they would be more receptive? Toronto has 80 story hire rises in random spots, unless that causes more problems than it solves I see no reason why it could not be accomplished in Seattle

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Most of the reform in CA is happening at the state level, with cities fighting tooth and nail—but losing, because the extreme housing prices are forcing action. The CA legislature has legalized duplexes and backyard cottages statewide, allowed cities to opt in to small apartment buildings in all residential zones, and made it illegal for cities to stop apartment projects that meet existing zoning rules. There’s a serious effort to make larger apartment buildings legal in all areas with public transit statewide but it’s narrowly failed for each of the last three years. One of these days it’s going to succeed, and when it does that is going to be a major plus for the housing market nationwide.

            We are actually behind that 8-ball in Washington. We have a minority of legislators who are for deep reform, but so far (because our prices have been somewhat lower) they haven’t been able to cobble together a majority.

            At the city live, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have towers everywhere in Seattle, but as of today it’s illegal to build them except in a very few central neighborhoods. We need five votes on the city council to change that. We’ve probably got four, but we’ll find out as our comprehensive plan update unfolds over the next couple years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I have followed some of the CA state changes the ones which came to mind were zoning changing allowing new unit construction. I didn’t follow the politics which lead up to it but I see it as a compromise which may do a small but of good but really doesn’t address the issue.

            I don’t know if its true but I read Amazon and some of the other tech majors were opposed to major real estate changes in Seattle. That may be a force you are also fighting against vs say a Toronto who has already implemented new housing or condominium construction. Whether the local leadership of CA or WA likes it or not, something close to the Toronto model is what will be eventually required. I hope one difference will be the units will not be sold to commercial interests or foreign “hot money” which is what has happened in much of Canada.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Yeah. And some people thought Ghostbusters 2016 was a good idea, too.

    Signal that virtue, then act shocked when people decide it’s not virtuous.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    Car-Sharing?

    During the summer I witnessed an athletic guy in an undershirt using his smartphone app to access a BMW DriveNow car sharing vehicle on the street. He was fumbling with his phone and ran one of his hands through his oily, sweaty hair and armpits before opening the door and seating his oily, sweaty and wet [smelly] body into the cloth seats of that BMW…

    Those oily, sweaty hands then touched the steering wheel and possibly some control buttons. Maybe he picked his nose later and touched surfaces of that cabin interior…

    And I am supposed to share a car with this person? NO THANK YOU.

    There’s is nothing better and more efficient and hygienic than private car ownership. These socialist/communist politicians who want to make us all ‘equal’ can fall down my back.

  • avatar
    Greg Hamilton

    The future is laid out in this University Of Cambridge document titled, “Absolute Zero”

    https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1810/299414/REP_Absolute_Zero_V3_20200505.pdf?sequence=9&isAllowed=y

    The end of private automobile ownership among other things.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “The United States is currently where Europe was a couple of decades ago”

    In a couple of decades I’ll be dead.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Wait, you mean it`s NOT a hoax?

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    The author is being nitpicked for tit and tat but I think his point stands.. New thinkers the world over are constantly thinking of new and great ideas to push on the proles.

    One example being the “let’s take the 401ks/IRAs from every American and place them into a general fund where they can be redistributed to those that don’t have it/didn’t plan for it but need it. ”

    Say again?

    Yes, this great idea was floated by a “think tank” (whatever fk that is) and was shot down – two years in a row during the Obama administration. I have not seen it for a while but it comes up every so often. Bad ideas are just that. Bad. And should be shot down every time they come up.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I just want to add that 100% of these new Marxists have 0 (ZERO) real life experience in anything.
      Was Lenin experienced in anything? Trotsky?
      Obama? Hillary Clinton? Joe Biden?

      All these dudes have one thing in common – they have never worked in any profession, or military. With Lenin and Trotsky being professional revolutionaries. Although Trotsky was in frontline units.

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        ‘I just want to add that 100% of these new Marxists have 0 (ZERO) real life experience in anything.’

        Correct.

        The socialist and communist Green Party politicians (with help from the so-called ‘liberal democrats’) currently ruining Germany through their coalition government are comprised of people who have never worked or held a job. Many of them have not even finished their studies at university. Look at our new foreign minister – Annalena Barbock – what a joke that woman is. An embarrassment.

        It is unbelievable what incompetent and clueless people can become politicians these days and tell hard-working, educated and normal people ‘how to live’. Such arrogance angers me.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I AGREE the author has a point. He’s just making it poorly.

  • avatar

    Matt, you are proprietor watching Fox news too much. First it will not happen unless general population votes for that. Then the government elite and rich people will continue to own cars which means that only luxury cars will be on sale and ordinary citizens will not be able to afford them. How I know that? I lived in Soviet Union and only elite and rich people (black market) and well connected people were able to own cars. And life was good in USSR – I lived happiest years of my life there. Girls were beautiful and there was no traffic!

    Easy way to implement it is to establish the ceiling on electricity consumption and limit number of charging stations and introduce prohibitive carbon tax on everything related to privately owned cars.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      To be fair, I must say that soviets, at least during late USSR were trying to build more cars, more services. They weren’t trying to cut down number of cars. But opposite. They just couldn’t make more.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      The people never get to vote directly on things like this. Politicians don’t offer their views on these things during campaigns. My state has been run under emergency powers for the last 2 years. Our (benevolent so far) governor has had broad powers to run the state with only a rubber stamp from the legislature renewing his authority to do so every so often. No citizen of my state ever voted thinking “yeah someday if needed I want the governor to have total control over the government.”

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “Incoming mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, is implement congestion-charging in Manhattan to decrease driving.” Old trick

    “Cleveland’s new mayor, Justin Bibb, has suggested converting existing car lines into protected bike lanes” – ask Boston how did this go. At one point they had to start catching bicyclist breaking all the rules

    “and having new zones where cars cannot go as part of of his sweeping “people over cars” initiative.” – sure. Honey do you want to go to Johnny’s? Eh, you must part 8 blocks away, no thanks

    “Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has similar promised free bussing as a way to discourage personal vehicle ownership.” – The good thing Wu is only a mayor of a small part of bigger Boston.

    • 0 avatar

      These all are elected leaders. Elected by people. like Putin e.g.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        If just like Putin, then I am going to sleep well tonight.
        But don’t you think that if subway in NYC or anywhere was of similar quality as in Moscow, people would badly want to get to ride in it.

        I have to say, after riding in a local train from Prague, I would take that train again. It was a soft, pleasant, quiet ride in a nicely air-conditioned space. On the second level you could have a great views of the local cows.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Oh I have no doubt this policies will continue to fail. But that doesn’t mean it won’t muck things up in the process and eventually result in the changes they wanted to begin with.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Fired up the ICE last night to drive across town to purchase C3H8 from a robot. Can officially confirm that the road which was repaved as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is now moonscape level.

    Coincidentally, watched this TED Talk (spoiler alert: “stricter policy” was mentioned):
    https://youtu.be/sCjfVrmkdDQ

    If voting is the answer for me, can someone please explain why I have never been given the opportunity to vote for or against Nancy Pelosi? (Thanks in advance.)

    • 0 avatar

      It depends where you live and even then voting for party other than Democratic Party s is illegal in California.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        And in Mass too

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “And in Mass too” no it’s not, comrade.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Are you trolling?

            Mass representatives in US congress
            DEM – 9
            GOP – 0

            Exactly, comrades from Mass.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @sluvuta: Doesn’t make it illegal. Just that the repubs that ran were morons -and they were. For example, the idiot that ran against Iraq veteran former Marine Seth Moulton. Not sure who ran against former Marine Jake Auchincloss, but they lost.

            Then, we’ve had a repub governor for years now. You left that out, but, that’s because you’re here to pump out anti-American propaganda and this is just further proof. Kind of interesting that your word count has gone up relative to putins latest crap. Further proof of what you are.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Oh, so American democracy is faltering and Putin is the issue. I see.
            Yea, Mittens was GOP governor but did not vetoed anything because (may be correctly) he declared that “majority is for it”.
            And now same man is a Senator from Utah. Don’t you think, this reminds Soviet Communist party nomenklatura? He finished with one post and now he is taking another. Such resemblance.
            Basically, it does not matter how you structure your gov. initially. Fat cats just find their way to come to the same ending point in every system. Did not take O’bamas too long from community organizers to become multi-millionaire power holders. Now I hear “Michelle will run for president”. What exactly her achievements to deserve such position? Ah, she is in the higher cast. This is it.
            I think, sooner you let Putin go, it is better for your mental health.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Voting is not the answer. All republics and democracies have failed. And if any still exist, this is just a temporary measure.
      EU, for example, basically took away democracy from local populations or its member state. Took away any hint of sovereignty. And 27 commissars in Eurocommission is basically a new politburo of Europe

      Quote:
      “The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, enforcing EU laws and directing the union’s administrative operations.”

      As you see from above, EU commissars make laws, enforce laws, and administrate everything. Voila – democracy is dead.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        No, Democracy is not dead, though the authoritarians like Trump have pushed it to the very edge and the guardrails of our Constitution barely survived.

        You look at what I wrote and probably said “what BS! How can somebody actually believe that?” I see what those who are on the hard right say and shake my head in disbelief that someone who wraps their butt with the flag and purports to believe in “christian” values could willingly support people who are destroying the very freedoms the hard right says they cherish over everything.

        Bottom line is today everyone runs to the sources that give them what they want to hear. Doesn’t matter if its Tucker Carlson or Rachel Maddow.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The truth is the exact opposite of what you just said. Oh and f**k Trump because he’s clearly drinking the Kool Aide now, why I don’t know.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Trump was democracy in action. People wanted Trump, needed Trump. But it is the deep stated who did not want him. What deep state did to Trump is exactly opposite to democracy. Democracy is when people decide their leader and not career politicians.
          There is not work “democracy” in US constitution. I still don’t understand why we needed it then. We need court, congress and president. Why we need democracy? Nobody knows. all democracies collapsed, historically? Do we need to collapse?

      • 0 avatar
        skotastic

        All governments eventually fail, though as you point out monarchies and dictatorships are the historical norm.

        Saying this, the British Parliamentary system has provided fairly stable government as it evolved over the past 600 years (arguably 800 years) which is a good run, but at the end of the day any system is only as good as the people running it

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Yea. We’re at the end of democracy experiment. What did it turned into? It turned into a situation that totally democratically we have elected total idiots or tyrants.
          We will continue democracy patterns but liberal democracy is at its end. If you look specifically in US, feds now are trying to be the government for all. This is hardly a democracy. Democracy is when people decide, not the government. Gov. must represent people. In my case I am “represented” in the congress by a lady who votes just like Pelosi. If I want to be represented, I must move.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    In the UK roughly 77% of households own a vehicle. In the USA it’s 91%. The UK is considerably smaller than the USA. Limiting vehicles in very dense urban areas makes sense. There are more efficient means of transportation along with insufficient space to park a car.

    A committee in Southern California and some undersecretary comment from the UK is hardly sufficient evidence to show that there’s a mass conspiracy to kill cars.

  • avatar
    downunder

    So western leaders call for the end of private car ownership and swap to public transport. Wonder if the big car manufacturers are about to pull a reverse “Red-Line” and suddenly go all out for trams, buses, and trains, dropping the EV’s and ICE vehicles at the same time. When the Unions and businesses show those numbers to the governments and say that you are about to shed 100,000’s of jobs just to satisfy an inner-city councilors idea of utopia, guess who will be doing the most amount of backflips this side of Cirque du Soleil?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      What I would do if I was a governor of the Red State with some blue city in it… I would build a wall around it, similar to the one that Egypt built on the border with Gaza. Hint: it has no gates.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    None of the quotes call for an “end of private vehicle ownership”. They call for a shift away from that being essential in order to work and travel.

    Just more clickbait for the right wing base here.

    SAD!

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Hard to follow your logic. We close a street, a block.. or, we remove car lanes and add bike lanes because we know that you don’t need to use your car.

      This means that this person, on any given day, can’t come to the office in a car and then have an appointment somewhere during the day and come back to work.
      At least, in those cases where the restriction applied in the form of payment, its ok. So, I go to work, I have an appointment, I need a car, so I need to pay a fee to enter part of the city. But at least I have the opportunity to do that!

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Removing car lanes doesn’t prevent you from using a car. It just makes it slower, in exchange for improved safety and faster speed for other users. That’s exactly the tradeoff we need in dense places where there’s not enough room for everyone to drive cars. It means if you really need a car that day you can still drive one, while if you don’t need one you may find it more convenient to use a more space-efficient way of traveling.

        They made the car lanes narrower on the street I usually use to go to work (which can be by bus, bike, or car) in exchange for adding bike lanes protected by a barrier. Now I feel more comfortable biking along that street, which is the most direct route, and so I feel happier about biking more often. Nobody’s forcing me to do anything and I can still drive if I need to for whatever reason. I’m changing my behavior voluntarily in response to a change that made biking safer and faster and driving slower.

        (The narrower lanes, by slowing cars down, also make it far more comfortable to walk along that street. The speed limit is 25. Before, nobody observed it, and now the drivers usually do because it feels like the right speed for the width of the lanes.)

  • avatar
    CitroenXM

    Road use pricing is a respectable free-market libertarian policy.

    Having options outside of owning a whole car is just an economically efficient way to run your own life/household/business budget. Car when you need and less overheads.

    Big roads are big government. Forced reliance on car ownership nothing but corporatist industrial policy.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      How do libertarians square the fairness of per mile taxation with the need to track your movements continuously in order to tax you properly?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Why does per mile taxation require “tracking your movements?” It just requires a mileage reading. Those miles could be any miles on any road.

        (Though, to be clear, a mileage tax is a sucky chickensh!t alternative to the right energy/road tax, which is a carbon tax.)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I can’t speak for everywhere but where I am registration (a “fee”) already functions as a de facto road or car tax. There has been talk here and elsewhere of jacking this cost up both on EV and all other types. It strikes me as its pretty simple to leave fuel taxes in place and calculate either a flat higher or graduated registration fee on EV (perhaps based on mileage). There is no *need* to reengineer the wheel.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Right, they can take our cars away right after they try to take our guns away. Just try that.

    Fortunately just came back from a trip to heart of Texas. My faith in humanity revived. Bought two new guns. Visited Odessa and Permian base and the oil museum. Saw virtually no electric vehicles in a week. Saw many many big trucks with huge wheels. Now back in rainy Georgia, just got an email Tahoe RST will be here second week of January with lionheart 6.2 liter engine.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I believe in history. If history is any sort of an indicator, then it is near guaranteed that fed pushing things into throats of others will lead to break up. There were 4 major breakup movements in US already – New England, South Carolina, Confederates and Philippines. Can anyone envision that in a highly divided nation, new such movement will not happen?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Unless you live in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, or other large metropolitan areas you will not see anything like what Matt says at least in most of our life times. As for crushing your car with your gun and bible in it that is a far stretch. With telework there is less need to go into major metropolitan areas unless you work in the service industry. I am retired as the end of the year and I did not go into Cincinnati that often because I teleworked most of the time. As more employers offer telework there will be less traffic thus reducing much of the need for severe measures to restrict vehicles and vehicle ownership in large metropolitan areas. Government can work with employers where feasible to offer telework. The Federal Government along with County, Local, and State Governments are offering telework and have discovered employees are happier and more efficient. There are common sense options available that do not require the heavy handedness of government.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    But first they will melt down statues of historical figures with the fire of their Woke CRT Hot Takes to mold them into instruments used to perform late-term abortions on your virginal daughters.

  • avatar
    Greg Hamilton

    It is peculiar how religion is viewed through the modern totalitarian state as subversive, obviously false, and wishful thinking, yet this same level of skepticism is not applied to governments.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You get the critical thinking award of the year. I’ll add to it, skepticism of the Green de facto religion government has created and nurtured.

    • 0 avatar
      skotastic

      Government is necessary for any remotely orderly society and can do great good , but we can not forget that the vast, vast, majority of human on human tragedies throughout global history have also been perpetrated by governments on their own people and each other.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Now I sit by my window and I watch the cars
    I fear I’ll do some damage one fine day
    But I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers

  • avatar
    JimC31

    Wait are people are trying to deny that Western Greens hate the concept of car ownership and cars in general? That people who dare to choose to live somewhere other than a tiny highrise apartment or own more than one car or own a pickup truck don’t get called nasty names by so-called intellectuals? That actual Communist countries fundamentally opposed to private property never had a patch on these loons, they just made lousy cars?

    The readership of this blog is bizarre. Every EV article gets a bunch of neanderthals who haven’t updated their battery knowledge since 1995, and this…?

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    FUD. cars will be sold. electric sales will increase, with all these people getting home charging. grids will be updated, gas and diesel are necessary for commerce. people will ALWAYS be able to own their own transportation. electric vehicles will NEVER be 100% just like they will never fully self drive

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    Clickbait designed to make the Magidiots clutch their pearls

  • avatar
    downunder

    Welcome to Amsterdam. Park your car, if you can afford it, and on yer bike! Welcome to New York City, can’t afford a car, on yer bike and get mown down by a yellow cab! Welcome to Oregon, just chill out dude! Welcome to San Francisco, your apartment is at the bottom of the hill, and work is at the top. Good luck.

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    Of course, all those mayors, governors and MPs who want to make car ownership a thing of the past defend the right to ride on private cars themselves because using public transport jeopardizes their safety, tee hee….

    And then all those career politicians will be wondering why “populism” is on the rise again.

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