Today’s Headlines

  • From the $100/gallon fill-up article:

    “Eric Laugen, a firefighter in Seattle, is administrator of the Chevy Avalanche Fan Club of North America. For a trip to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, he wanted to drive his truck because it has enough room for his fishing and camera gear, as well as space in the back to sleep. But he rode his motorcycle instead. That means pitching a tent every night, and no fishing.

    “Motorcycle touring is a pain,” said Mr. Laugen, talking on his cellphone from a park in Alaska. “But then I looked at how much gas would cost in the Avalanche. It just doesn’t make sense anymore.””

    Gee, if only there were some middle ground between an SUV and a motorcycle.

  • “Gee, if only there were some middle ground between an SUV and a motorcycle.”

    Or some middle ground between Prudhoe Bay and Seattle, a 2,812 mile drive according to google maps. (What’s wrong with that famous mountain overlooking Seattle and its 235,625 acre national park?) I can see that riding a motorcycle thousands of miles is “a pain”, but I don’t get why anyone wants travel to the ends of the earth to sleep in a camper in a parking lot. And take calls on a cell phone. You go mountain man!

  • Also from the Times $100 fill-up article — talk about doing a 180!

    Hummer clubs are hurting, too. In Nebraska, Ric Hines of the Omaha Hummer Owner Group — known as Omahog — stopped doing off-road trips this summer and started riding his recumbent bicycle instead.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Huhh?!?! A Hummer driving recumbent bicyclist?!?! I never thought such a human being could even exist!

  • So, I’m confused. What’s the livable streets consensus about suspension of alternate-side parking? Does it help or hurt the cause?

  • That article puts a lot of emphasis on the cost of a tank of gas for certain vehicles. That seems a pretty stupid metric compared to miles per gallon. If I replace a Hummer’s gas tank with a half-gallon tank, you can fill it up for two bucks.

    Urbanis: As I understand it there is no consensus. There are a few anecdotes but most people on this site understand that the plural of anecdote isn’t data. Congestion may be down this summer in those neighborhoods, but you’d have to control for the fact that people are driving a lot less because of the price of gas.

  • Vive le velo pliant! (Long live the folding bicycle!)

    Folding bikes *are* the future (as well as the past: the first historically documented folding bicycle design dates to 1893; see

  • Max Rockatansky

    OmaHOG (Omaha Hummer Owner Group) – was there ever a more appropriately named group?!?!?!?

  • In this week’s Kunstler Kolumn, Jim comes up with a novel explanation for high oil prices (at least, one I haven’t heard before). Foreign nations sitting on huge piles of dwindling dollars are spending them on oil, bidding up oil prices by buying them with our own currency! It makes a weird kind of sense, given that dollars are decreasing in value (so spend them now) and oil is increasing in value (so buy some before the price goes up again).

  • Cars getting you down? Move to Washington DC! The Washington Post reports:

    “The District is escalating what some suburban commuters are calling its war against workers who drive into the city…. The District is moving toward becoming ‘the most anti-car city in the country,’ said John Townsend, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.”

    Big advantage of DC government — it’s the only city in the continental U.S. not within the jurisdiction of any state legislature.