Monday, June 30, 2008

Analysts Predict Big Decline in US Auto Use

4 comments:

Kyle N. said...

yeah i agree with the analysts here. i think gas prices will definitely cause lots of Americans to abandon their cars, hopefully for bikes!

i just came across an interesting post about how the government should enact more rules and regulations for bikes, almost treating them like cars with licensing, registration, insurance, safety requirements, etc.

http://www.commuteroutrage.com/2008/06/30/toward-a-new-bicycle-safety-in-america/

i think this is an interesting idea, since it'd legitimize bike usage to many americans. a cyclist could say, "i'm a licensed bicyclist, riding a registered vehicle. i pay tolls and parking fees, give me my bike lanes!"

what do you think?

Anonymous said...

"it'd legitimize bike usage to many americans"

Bicycles are already legitimate vehicles in US road law. As American drivers begin to see more bikes on the roads, they will learn to slow down and look for them.

According to the story above, there should be a lot less interaction between cars and bikes soon as cars start to disappear from the roadways.

Perhaps cars will always be needed.

For handicapped people.

WillySF said...

If motorists could see the actual price of gas at the pump, they would have abandoned their cars a long time ago. Gasoline is heavily subsidized along with auto-centric infrastructure. We who choose not to own an automobile, and instead walk, ride public transit or bike to our destinations are paying a good portion out of our taxes to fund private vehicle ownership and suburban sprawl. There's plenty of money and resources out there to address these problems, although right now it is inefficiently spent, and we are lacking true leadership in transportation issues. The most conservative estimates of the real price of gas put it at $20 per gallon. That is far above the projections of $7 per gallon within a year or two. Automobiles can be made to be more fuel-efficient, and they can even run without gas. The technology has existed for decades. Yet, I believe cars are the problem altogether, especially within urban environments.

Dave Sohigian said...

Kyle n.

That Commuter Outrage article is just silly. The idea that we need to set up bureaucracy to manage bikes right now is counterproductive. Bike commuters do not need to pay for the infrstructure they ride on because every person we get out of a car is reducing congestion, pollution and oil consumption. If we get over 50% of people commuting on bikes, then they probably need to start paying their way, but since the number now stands at 0.5% we should be doing everything we can to encourage people to get on their bikes. Licensing, Inspection, Registration, Tolls and Parking are all things that will discourage the use of bikes. I am all for safety (much of which is already in force in many areas) and insurance and other measures that encourage bike commuters. The real danger to bikers is autos. So the most important thing for safety and sustainability is to get less people driving cars and more people riding bikes. Few of the measures mentioned in the article will accomplish any of these things.