Today’s Headlines

  • Senate Begins Debate on Climate Bill (NYT)
  • Bronx’s Lafayette Avenue Gets Ped Refuges, Neckdowns, and Bike Lanes (News)
  • Grisly Hit-and-Run Leaves Elderly Brooklyn Man Clinging to Life (News)
  • DWI Killer Convicted of Manslaughter (News)
  • New HOT/Bus Lane for Lincoln Tunnel One Step Closer to Reality (MTR)
  • Market for Second-Hand SUVs Collapsing (WSJ)
  • Cabbies Feeling Squeezed by Gas Prices (Post)
  • Councilman James Vacca Pounces on ‘Price-Gouging’ Citgo Stations (News)
  • As Fuel Prices Crimp Transit Agencies, Time for Gov’t to Step Up (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Take a ‘Peak’ (The Oil Drum: Local)
  • Larry Littlefield

    RE the SUV price drop. Many predicted this, and predicted a severe public safety impact.

    Why? SUVs were expensive, only affordable to established middle aged adults. But what if the price of used SUVs drops to $4,000, low enough to be the first vehicle of teen and twenty-something males?

    And those won’t be the new SUVs, redesigned to hit a car bumper. They’ll be the old SUVs, designed to send the full force of the frame through the side window of an economy car in a T-bone caused by running a red light, killing off all the occupants in an American version of social darwinism.

    I’m not kidding — people wrote about this several years ago. And a friend of my daughters, since moved away, had her mother killed that very way (before they moved here). The father remarried and bought an SUV himself, so he wouldn’t lose a second wife the same way.

  • vnm

    Gotta love that there are two Citgo stations on land controlled by the Parks Department. Doesn’t that seem a little, unparklike?

  • Spud Spudly
  • Spud Spudly

    Don’t worry LL, SUVs are going away. GM just announced it’s closing 4 truck plants and might even discontinue the Hummer altogether:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/business/04motors.html?ref=business

  • JF

    True enough, Vnm. In fact, there’d be more room for the Hutchinson River Greenway if those stations weren’t there.

    We should ship all our surplus SUVs to Africa, where they can be used as bush taxis, carrying 6-8 people at a time instead of just one or two.

  • J. Mork

    Can someone explain again the difference between “price gouging” and “supply and demand”?

  • Josh

    Spud Spudly, that isn’t the point though. Larry is talking about used SUVs, many of which will be sitting around for a long time regardless of GM closing their plants.

  • J, you may be familiar with Bertrand Russell’s conjugation of an “irregular verb” as “I am firm; you are obstinate; he is a pig-headed fool.” Here’s a version for gas prices:

    I am strategically positioned in the market; you are adjusting your prices to match demand; he is price-gouging.

    BTW, here’s my take on the Lincoln Tunnel HO/T lane:

    http://capntransit.blogspot.com/2008/06/tunnel-xrt-second-lincoln-tunnel-xbl.html

  • nobody

    Vacca’s constituents would be better served if he helped them be less auto-dependent, not more so. In the past, he has done so, specifically by voting in favor of congestion pricing. Why pander to motorists now?

  • Spud Spudly

    What I’m saying Josh is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. There’s nothing you can do about used vehicles selling for cheap, but we can now see a time when we’ll be free of the SUV.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Can someone explain again the difference between “price gouging” and “supply and demand”?)

    There is all kinds of evil going on in the market for gasoline.

    Oil companies and gas stations are probably charging drivers the maximum price they can get away with, every day, all over the country. Outrageous.

    And drivers are probably going to the gas station with the cheapest price they can pay. How could they? Some are even cheating on their taxes by making sure they fill up in low-tax NJ on their way back into town.

  • Hilary

    What grieves me about the Citgo stations is how ugly and commercial they are. When Moses designed the parkways, he drove out all commercialism, and slapped strict aesthetic guidelines on the few permitted concessions so they would make the minimum intrusion on the park system. The gas stations were rustic stone without signs. Most important of all, their revenue went… back into the parks department.

  • Mark Walker

    Gas-station operators are not gouging. Here’s how the retail of gasoline breaks down into its components:

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/bookshelf/brochures/gasolinepricesprimer/

    You’ll notice that the “distribution and marketing” part has actually shrunk from 12 percent to 10 percent between 2000 and 2007. Looks like retailers have been taking the hit to keep gas prices as low as they are.

    But hey, it’s hard to face the fact that high gas prices are the direct result of peaking worldwide crude oil production in the face of increased demand. So the people who operate service stations become the latest media whipping boys, the targets of resentment and, eventually, violence.

    I wouldn’t want that job.

  • Josh

    How is buying gas in NJ cheating on your taxes? They’re still paying the (lower NJ) gas tax. The tax is on goods sold in NY, not on NY residents.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Hey Josh, I’m known for not having much of a sense of humor, but you’ve trumped me. That’s a joke.

  • Mark Walker