Saturday, May 17, 2008

Americans Still Stupid...or Trapped

$65 tanks of gas, every week. Boy it hurts. But the sprawling suburban country is not giving up its addiction to the car without a fight.

According to this reuters piece, Americans are still in love with the car.

"It’s U.S. National Bike to Work Day on Friday and Americans are facing record high gasoline prices, but most commuters will stick to their cars." Wrote John Hurdle.

What can be done? Maybe $100 tanks of gas. Or better bicycle infrastructure. Or people moving into the cities.


SiouxGeonz said...

It's a bit of a shift to be even *considering* the bicycle as an alternative (instead of a very small special interest activity). I mean, "most" is a big term.
But yea, where the EPA asks "why do or don't you ride to work" it's a lot of why not ... a LOT of 'i'll get creamed by cars.' we need that infrastructure...

Caitlynne! said...

You know what would be great for bike commuting?
A 30 hour work week. I'm thinking about moms and dads, or people who hold more than one job...the people who are in the most dire need to save money in the first place. I know it's hot for middle class office workers to ride their fancy pants bikes to work- and I'm all for it! But new transportation systems and transportation solutions that actually work and are sustainable are definitely going to have to come from working class perspectives.
And Kenny, next time I see you I'm going to smack you in the face ex-girlfriend style for titling your post "Americans Still Stupid". You know better than that! It's not us- people are great! It's the SYSTEM, man!

El Presidente de China said...

Caitlynne, you are onto something, and I think it applies even to the middle class. I couldn't pull off my complicated car-bike-train commute if my wife weren't taking the kids to daycare, and I still sometimes drive because the constraints of train schedules would force me to come home so late that I wouldn't get to see my kids.

Another thing, short of a shorter work week, that would help a lot would be more understanding and accommodation on the part of employers (at all income levels). The only thing that made my employer get on board with my train commuting (which tends to constrain my schedule some) was pointing out that I end up getting more work done because I can carry my computer on the train, effectively lengthening my workday. The notion that my not driving might have some inherent good that would be worth subsidizing was not even a topic worth discussing.