DOT and HHS conspire to ‘reduce’ driving

….but here we go. I guess we could say we knew this was coming. All of the LaHood’s previous statements would lead us to this. The mandate for those new Black Box requirement sure should have given us a heads up. But to put this together with DHS? They want us to “narrow our streets”?? Not one new road will be funded. Not one. Back in May, 2010 I posted: LaHood: “We are going to coerce people out of their cars”

On May 21, 2010 LaHood told reporters at the National Press Club that the “Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ his department had formed with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing—sometimes known as the “livability initiative”–was designed to “coerce” people out of their cars.

The moderator later asked: “Some conservative groups are wary of the livable communities program, saying it’s an example of government intrusion into people’s lives. How do you respond?”

“About everything we do around here is government intrusion in people’s lives,” said LaHood. “So have at it.” -(an honest man).

As we know, elections have consequences, the wish now comes true. Withholding funds to States until they come under the boot of our infamous leader. Here we go:

LaHood and Sebelius used the press conference to release a proposed set of actions their agencies and Congress can take to advance the health initiative. Congress could withhold federal transportation funds until states develop and implement aggressive vehicle miles traveled reduction goals and public engagement campaigns highlighting the health impacts of automobile use. State DOTs and legislatures could also levy a health excise fee on auto purchases to fund cycling, walking and transit infrastructure. As the nation’s largest insurer, HHS would revise underwriting standards to reflect the risks of high-mileage communities, and pair medical treatment with interventions to introduce customers and communities to non-auto transportation. Tax benefits for automobile parking would be rescinded, and the NHTSA would move immediately to require automakers to install ignition interlocks on all new vehicles.

Ignition interlocks? We are all going to have to breath into a machine before we can drive. Are you nuts? The cost of this? Use a treadmill for 30 minutes before the lock opens? Where does this end?

Standing side by side with many state DOT heads, US DOT Secretary Ray La Hood and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a new public safety campaign to encourage less driving, lower speeds, and encourage more cycling and walking to meet the nation’s transportation needs.

“The use of motor vehicles, like smoking, heart disease and other public health threats, pose a grave risk to our children, friends and neighbors,” said Secretary Sebelius.

“For too long, the assumption has been that the negative impacts of auto travel are just the price we must pay for modern life”, said Secretary LaHood, “Well, no longer. It’s time to build a people-centered transportation system. We have the tools and policies to make change now, and we need to get to work.” LaHood urged DOTs and municipalities to begin immediately by reducing speed limits on residential streets, narrowing streets, and installing protected cycling facilities. LaHood also pointed to the benefits of the change, citing the continuing decline in vehicle travel nationwide. “Cities, counties and states no longer need to pour money into new infrastructure that will serve fewer and fewer drivers while their existing roads crumble. We’ll be doing our pocketbooks and the climate a favor while we reactivate our streets and improve public health”.

Secretarys LaHood and Sebelius tour a road ready to be retrofitted with a cycletrack

H/T: Streets.Mn and  News Alert

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