Good News, Gas Prices are going up:

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2007
Good News, Gas Prices are going up:
124
Mon, 04-18-2011 - 12:19pm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Wed, 05-11-2011 - 2:16pm
You're very correct! It's great to share our experiences/adaptations. That's how new solutions are arrived at!

My city has been building 'urban hubs' in various areas within the city limits. High density housing above retail spaces with contained parking garages. They are easy walking distance to shopping, bus routes, schools, parks. Downtown has seen a resurgance - however, most of those living spaces tend to be pretty darned expensive. Our current mayor has gone bicycle-lane-'sharrow' route happy...which, at this point is actually causing more problem than it's alleviating...but we'll see how that pans out.

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2001
Tue, 05-10-2011 - 2:30pm

Yes, I agree, it's all relative to the particular person and his/her circumstances, as well as the characteristics of the geographical locations in which he/she may live. What works as an adaption for one may not work for another... It's good to share how we each deal with transportation issues because even if one person's solution won't work in another's geographic circumstances, some of the ideas can be adapted and creative solutions might come. :)

I notice that in the downtowns of cities in our area they are rebuilding, with apts. on upper floors, stores and restaurants on the ground floor, parking garages underneath, but limited to one car per apt. Near rapid transit trains and bus stops/routes. So, there is a recognition that in some geographical locations, at least, alternative ways to try to get people out of their cars, and to make living without a car, reasonable and possible. There are even car "kiosks" near transit stations in some of our nearby cities, where one can rent a car for an hour or two or a weekend or a day, to do errands one cannot do using public transit or walking. So, people "share" cars instead of having to own their own. KEWL! They even have bicycle kiosks. So, creative solutions/adaptations are being tried successfully. :P Still, in past generations, like you said, often one had all the stores one needed local, within walking distance, and only need buses or cars for things further away, like maybe doctors' offices and so on. But that living without a car was easily do-able. Now, after all the decades of housing developments in the suburbs and so forth, the flow of people wanting to get out of the city, into residential neighborhoods, has broken down all that convenient location of important things nearby, like grocery stores, drug stores, etc. Now we are cycling back in the other direction, but of course, the already built areas during the "flight to the suburbs" still exist in great quantities, often without any bus service whatsoever, and nothing within walking distance, and jobs many, many miles away.

So, where the jobs are can determine the need for a car if there is no local infrastructure of public transportation or jobs are too far away to walk or bicycle. It's all very relative to geography as well as what our society values as an ideal "lifestyle," including our love affairs with cars. Even if they are pitching all the hybrids these days, they are still pushing the love affair and value that everyone needs a vehicle. All the glamor of the TV ads for vehicles vs. no glamor of using public transit, or learning to live without a car, and all the choices that would necessitate: limiting job choices, where one lives, etc. Fascinating to contemplate what our urban areas might look like a thousand years from now...and remembering many scifi movies and TV series that showed people using alternate transportation to our beloved cars. Moving sidewalks, etc. :P


Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Tue, 05-10-2011 - 1:12pm
I fully support walking or using alternative forms of transportation. We have 3 cars...but that wasn't until DD started college. She needs her own car to get to the Transit Center. But, when she was in high school, DH dropped her off on his way to work every day & I would time my errands to pick her up most days (depending on her after-school activities). If the weather was decent, she'd opt to walk the 2+ miles home. We weren't 'far enough away' to qualify for a school bus. Plus, now in our school district, only elementary level kids are provided with school buses. All other kids have to either ride Metro (they get a pass from the district) or provide their own transportation because the district can't afford the buses anymore!

I agree - think & combine trips as best as possible. I look at my week & decide when I'm going to go where depending on appointments, etc. I also take Metro whenever possible - especially going downtown.

And our gas prices never reached $4/gallon. They should be going down...but we'll see. As usual, the price of gasoline was artificially inflated by speculators buying up large quantities.

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Tue, 05-10-2011 - 12:29am

I think Ohearto is right.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2007
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 5:55pm

As long as Americans are

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2001
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 5:27pm
I disagree prices would come down. They must have their profits, after all. :|And profits come from the consumer. You pay for the gasoline it takes to deliver food to your local market, etc. As consumers we pay for gasoline in the purchase price of everything we buy. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone who has a car and drives should be automatically labeled wasteful. I don't see the degree of wastefulness around me as you seem to have around you. I just worry how we are doing and we are careful with our spending. I have no interest in living the life of an ascetic, but I try to not be wasteful. We aren't rich and we budget closely, but we enjoy life, too. :) We have *one* TV, *one* computer, we buy few books/movies, using our library. Eat out maybe once a month as a treat. But really, it's nobody's business but ours. We are solvent and we pay our bills. Our business how we accomplish that. And our choice how we choose to spend our $$$, and what priorities we set. If I can learn a better way to save that works for me, I'll try it. But I recognize also that sometimes it's "different strokes for different folks." Their circumstances are not my own, and what works for DH & I, may not be appropriate for someone else. Shrug.


Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2007
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 4:14pm

I'm the one who walks to the store.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2001
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 2:33pm
jabberwocka wrote:
You know--that's how people shop in much of Europe; certainly in the urban areas. When my DD and her husband lived in Sweden, they rode their bikes to get groceries, he rode his to the office, etc.

I grant you that not having a car can be a major inconvenience when there's a need to bring home something both bulky and heavy.

But doing as you do makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, we have become so dependent upon motor vehicles, zoning the separation of commercial from residential came to be common practice. For many people, homes and offices are not in close proximity to goods and services. (***my emphasis here***)

I agree, for many there is no neighborhood grocery store, doctor's office, drug store, what have you. (And even if there is, the higher cost per item is prohibitive vs. driving a few miles for bigger shopping at discount stores). We have suburbs, and shopping centers or strip malls, miles away. Not realistic walking distance or bicycling distance at all. And I don't just run to the store for a couple things in my car. My car often stays in the driveway several days a week without being driven. But as an older person, with arthritis in my knees and hips and low back, there is no way in heck I'm walking any mileage *and* carrying a bunch of groceries. I *do* walk daily to stay mobile, with my dog. But hauling packages is not a possibility. There are many older retired people in the same situation I am in. Plus my doc is over 15 mi. away, and I'm not spending 2+ hours round-trip on public transit to get there and back, plus all the waiting around at bus stops, when it takes me a few minutes by car. And ironically, it's still cheaper to drive and pay minimal parking at the health center, than pay the public transit fees. Even though currently I am paying (just yesterday, actually) $4.19/gallon for the cheapest unleaded we have locally, which is at Costco.

Additionally, I always plan my weekly errands around each other, so that I hit the grocery store, the library, the drug store, the post office, any doctor appts., etc. all in an economical loop. And I do my bulky shopping and heavy items. I also find if I do "big shopping" once a week or every two weeks, according to payday of DH, that I spend less on groceries, etc., than if I "nickle & dime" buying a few items every few days. Having a car doesn't have to be wasteful or "decadent." Nor unhealthy to have, for that matter. And for many depending on their locale, having their own transportation beyond their own two feet or a bicycle, is important. So I don't buy all preaching about getting out of our cars permanently. For some, due to locale, it's possible and great. For others, it is not. I've been hearing it all my life in California. And you know what?! Where I am there used to be excellent public transit, convenient and actually pretty speedy. And I used to commute to work if I could. Not always possible, depending on distance to & from the job, the fact that childcare closed at 6pm and I got off work at 5pm, and the childcare was not on a bus/train route or within walking distance of home, etc. Currently, with the recession, all the cutbacks of routes and constant raising of fees, it's actually more economical to stay in my car. Not to mention mobility issues trying to climb on & off buses (some of which do not have the lowering step). So, a great dream never realized because the infrastructure is just not there. People are not going to spend 3 hrs. round trip to commute for work, sitting on public transit if they have a choice. And what, the whole family goes as a troop to do grocery shopping, hauling packages?! Not gonna happen. Not with the way a lot of our cities and suburbs are set up now.

I bought into all that "use public transit" and vote more and more $$$ to supposedly build the infrastructure to get people out of their cars, and it has all come to crap recently. I do what I've done all my life, conserve, drive as little as possible, don't spend money going out to eat or for fast food or even going to movies. I find cheaper and easier ways, as we always have, even in our younger days, to enjoy movies at home, to read, walk and play in the neighborhood, wear our clothes and shoes out before buying new, etc. We try to live "gently on the earth" as much as we can, even while living in an urban setting. Turn down our thermostats and layer clothes. Recycle. All that good stuff. Been doing it for decades. But to tell me I'm irresponsible because I have a car and use it is unacceptable, as it is to judge a lot of people for using their cars, in this negative fashion. Most people I know live on a tight budget, try to do the best they can, and they don't need a load of crap dumped on their heads about the fact they have and drive a car, when they need it for transportation, and it is not some luxury. JMHO.


Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2007
Sun, 05-08-2011 - 2:14pm

We're suppose to get walking/biking trails here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Sun, 05-08-2011 - 10:51am
Actually, it's a better argument for making safe walking/biking trails. In much of Europe, they parallel the motorways--on both sides. Typically, the trail nearest the motorway is for bikes, Pedestrians walk farthest away from traffic in the outermost lane.

Jabberwocka

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