That's by no means a remote possibility. A campaign calling itself "Shared Mobility Principles" is promoting a set of policy proposals that, if implemented, will inevitably lead to private vehicles being effectively banned. Italics are my emphasis.
2. We prioritize people over vehicles.
The mobility of people and not vehicles shall be in the center of transportation planning and decision-making. Cities shall prioritize walking, cycling, public transport and other efficient shared mobility, as well as their interconnectivity. Cities shall discourage the use of cars, single-passenger taxis, and other oversized vehicles transporting one person.
3. We support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs, and land.
Transportation and land use planning and policies should minimize the street and parking space used per person and maximize the use of each vehicle. We discourage overbuilding and oversized vehicles and infrastructure, as well as the oversupply of parking.
. . .
7. We support fair user fees across all modes.
Every vehicle and mode should pay their fair share for road use, congestion, pollution, and use of curb space. The fair share shall take the operating, maintenance and social costs into account.
. . .
10. We support that autonomous vehicles (AVs) in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets.
Due to the transformational potential of autonomous vehicle technology, it is critical that all AVs are part of shared fleets, well-regulated, and zero emission. Shared fleets can provide more affordable access to all, maximize public safety and emissions benefits, ensure that maintenance and software upgrades are managed by professionals, and actualize the promise of reductions in vehicles, parking, and congestion, in line with broader policy trends to reduce the use of personal cars in dense urban areas.
There's more at the link.
Let's take a closer look at those principles, shall we?
- #2: Cities shall "discourage" some types of vehicles - including those most likely to be owned and used by individuals. How will they "discourage" them - by taxing their ownership so that it becomes too expensive? Making it illegal to park private vehicles on public streets? Blocking access from the street to private driveways and garages?
- #3: "Minimize the street and parking space used per person" - that fits in with what I just said in the previous point. "Discourage overbuilding and oversized vehicles and infrastructure, as well as the oversupply of parking" - same same. If the city makes it impossible for you to park or otherwise store your vehicle, you're effectively prevented from owning or using it. The bureaucrats and statists will go gaga over this.
- #7: Taking the "social costs" into account? That means whatever the fertile imagination of those opposed to private vehicles can invent. I'm sure they can come up with "social costs" that have damn-all to do with society, but everything to do with them controlling your private transportation.
- #10: "Broader policy trends to reduce the use of personal cars in dense urban areas" - that says it all. Autonomous vehicles will be a means to this end. If you have access to shared vehicles, why should you want your own? You're being mean, greedy and anti-social to take up so many city resources - space, traffic costs, etc. - just for yourself!
This is Big Brother's wet dream. George Orwell would be horrified at his prescience.
What's even worse is the list of signatories supporting these proposals. I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that both Uber and Lyft are among them, as well as many similar companies. Of course they are! They, and companies like them, stand to benefit from them! In fact, I get the impression that such companies might well have written these proposals for their own benefit, they're so inimical to the interests of private vehicle owners.
Karl Denninger points out pungently:
In other words here's a nice so-called "NGO" that is "partnering" with those nice folks like Rahm and his cadre of guns that all involved, including Uber, Lyft and others, intend to shove up your nose and force you to use their services in order to get around. The personal ownership and use of such vehicles for those living in cities shall be prohibited under the law.
This is what you support if you allow Uber and Lyft to continue to operate either as a driver or a customer as this is what both they, and many other organizations, have directly signed onto and are advancing as public policy.
Your current car is likely to be the last one you're legally able to own and operate. The ability go to when you want, where you want, and how you want is about to disappear all because you enabled and cheered on these firms.
Again, more at the link.
I don't think Mr. Denninger is exaggerating. I think that's exactly what the statists want, and what organizations such as Uber and Lyft see as being in their best interests. Unfortunately, these proposals are not in our best interests - at least, in most of the country. They might work in a megalopolis like New York City, where four out of five commuters already use public transport, but not in most other places. Consider:
- What happens if you need to get somewhere in a hurry - say, to reach the hospital where your spouse or child has just been taken - but there are no public vehicles available?
- What happens in an evacuation situation, such as an approaching storm? You'll be utterly dependent on public transportation to "get out of Dodge" - and if the authorities decide that you don't have any priority for transportation over other, "less fortunate" or "less privileged" residents, you'll be S.O.L.
- What if you just want the convenience of being able to go where you want, when you want, without being dependent on anyone else to get there and back? Sorry. You lose.
I, for one, will not live under such restrictions; and anyone trying to impose them on me will be treated with the contempt - and all the resistance - they deserve. I suspect there are many who feel likewise. It'll be up to us to watch out for any attempt to implement these or similar principles in our cities and states, and oppose them for all we're worth.