Today’s Headlines

  • Mark Walker

    Re the Grist piece, you know the auto industry is in trouble when you see a lobbyist make this statement: “The thing that we must achieve is NOT the elimination of the personal automobile, but the change of the automobile from the primary mode of transportation to one of several modes that people can choose from. This implies major changes in urban design, transit investment, and consumer culture, but it is not the same as getting rid of the car altogether.”

    Major changes in urban design? Transit investment? Welcome to the liveable streets movement, car makers!

  • That would be fine with Mr. Murti, who owns not one but two hybrid cars.

    Wow, what a greenie! When I grow up, I’m going to own three hybrid cars. That’s how green I’m going to be!

    (Not making fun of Murti, who sounds like a cool guy, but of the Times.)

  • Josh

    Two years for DWI, hit and run, and vehicular manslaughter? Are you serious?

  • The Grist piece is fascinating, an industry lobbyist endorsing carbon taxes without actually saying so: “This sustained increase in the price of gas is what we have been saying is needed to drive a significant increase in the fuel efficiency of the cars American choose to drive.”

    Have they been saying that? I know they’ve always hated CAFE, and I think they’re right to hate something that so crudely demands they reverse the US auto market’s gravity. But have they ever endorsed the alternative which would actually work, higher gas taxes? Are they doing so now? Or are they just endorsing higher gas PRICES and enriching terrorists? That would be a dumb position. But it makes me wonder whether, if the 20th century US environmental movement had had half a clue and pushed for euro-level gas taxes instead of CAFE, would the auto industry actually have supported them? (Sorry for all the rhetorical Qs. I’m flummoxed.)

    (Mark that quote was the first comment, not the lobbyist; Grist confusingly doesn’t differentiate with comment formatting. Coming from a “green” activist, I find any degree of car clingyness annoying. They attack the strawman of “no cars” when they know the real argument is for “fewer cars”, because if we want fewer cars then it’s hard for car owners to see themselves as god’s gift to greeniness. LAME.)

  • Mark Walker

    Whoops, thanks for the correction, Doc. I scrolled down too fast.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Scooters booming because of gas prices.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121131620487908103.html?mod=hpp_us_autos

    They’re half way there.

    “Chris Casal, a Brooklyn, N.Y., elementary-school teacher, used to drive to work almost every day, mainly because it took 12 minutes compared with an hour by subway.” Now using a scooter “he parks free in the schoolyard, and the two-wheeler impresses his students.”

    Well, free metrocards and bike parking isn’t a bargaining priority for the UFT, but at least they allow parking for scooters as well as cars on playground space. Just take the next logical step.

  • Larry Littlefield

    From the same article:

    “New York City has developed a reputation as particularly unfriendly to riders, who typically park between cars and hope their scooters won’t get ticketed by police or knocked over by inattentive drivers. Many parking garages don’t accept scooters and motorcycles, and some that do charge the same rate as for cars. A few, however, are experimenting with special spaces for scooters.”

    Again, half way there. Hey parking garages, how about bicycles?

  • Mark Walker

    American Airlines has become the first airline to charge for every checked bag, including the first one:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/22/business/22air.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

    I used to be a one-bag carry-on traveler, but started carrying two bags and checking one of them due to the FAA’s prohibition against bottles of liquid or gel greater than three ounces. I’ll have to rethink my strategy. FYI, I fly three times a year, and am looking for ways to cut that down to one.

    A renewed passenger rail system is looking better and better — it would eliminate at least one of my two business flights. The relative silence of our electeds on this issue is a symptom of what deep trouble we’re in.

  • Mark Walker

    Crude oil didn’t just break the 130 mark today. It closed at 133:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/24736881

    We’re not even into the summer driving season yet. I remember my parents packing me and my kid sister into the back of a station wagon at four in the morning to begin some epic vacation drive. We’d fall asleep in our sleeping bags and wake up in some far distant state. I guess fewer kids are going to have that experience.

    I’m kind of a hard-ass on this subject, but even I expected a pullback that might last for a few weeks at least. Instead the price increase seems to be accelerating.

  • lee

    “From the same article:

    “New York City has developed a reputation as particularly unfriendly to riders, who typically park between cars and hope their scooters won’t get ticketed by police or knocked over by inattentive drivers. Many parking garages don’t accept scooters and motorcycles, and some that do charge the same rate as for cars. A few, however, are experimenting with special spaces for scooters.”

    Again, half way there. Hey parking garages, how about bicycles?”

    It is legal to park your scooter, (classified as a motorcycle by the dmv) in between two cars.