by FRANKLYN CATER | NPR

Cities and cars share a conflicted relationship these days. Environmental concerns, growing traffic congestion and an urban design philosophy that favors foot traffic are driving many cities to try to reduce the number of cars on the road. In cities such as Seattle, Chicago, Toronto and Boston, some people go so far as to claim there is a “war on cars.”

That’s a phrase that has popped up around the country as cities spend more transportation dollars on transit; add streetcars, bus and bike lanes; raise parking rates; install “traffic calming” measures; and increase traffic enforcement with cameras. Advocates of these changes say they give people more options and make cities safer. But some motorists feel like they’re under attack.

Heated Rhetoric: In Washington, D.C., where 9th Street NW meets I Street NW it’s a one-way street with three lanes of traffic. The right lane is labeled with giant letters on the pavement: BUS ONLY. The bus lane is among changes in recent years in Washington and other places that are making room for other forms of transportation, not just cars. It’s a source of tension with some drivers, especially cab drivers, who are often stuck in congested street lanes with empty bus lanes right alongside them. {…}