Thursday, September 05, 2013

Americans still love their cars

Checking It Out, 1958

From Randal O'Toole's blog, The Antiplanner:

USA Today asks, “Is USA’s love affair with the automobile over?” The Antiplanner is always irked when someone calls people’s use of cars a “love affair,” because it implies that driving is irrational. In fact, people’s use of cars is entirely rational, as they are the fastest, most-convenient, least-expensive of getting between most places inside of an urban area as well as for journeys up to a few hundred miles. 

Ironically, USA Today quotes a study from the Department of Transportation (previously cited here) that pretty much concluded that the very slight (2.4%) decline in driving since its 2007 peak was almost entirely due to the economy and not a change in tastes. USA Today pretty much ignores that conclusion so they can underscore opinions by car-haters from US PIRG who want to divert even more highway user fees to transit and other modes of transportation.

We learned yesterday that sales of American cars are at a six-year high.

And Americans are satisfied with their cars.


Bay Bridge bike path: From $200 million to $1 billion

You could see the Bay Bridge bike path boondoggle coming way back in 2007 when I first wrote about it. From a low estimate of $160 million in 2001 to $1 billion today! Does anyone think that will be the actual price tag in the end?

The Bicycle Coalition thought that $200 million for the bike path was "a drop in the bucket," and they were undaunted by the $500 million estimate. Those drops keep getting a lot bigger, but they will never be too big for the bike people.

The Bay Bridge bike path project now qualifies as a megaproject, and the price tag will keep escalating, as all parties get on board the gravy train---unions, management, Bay Area "progressives" and their representatives in Sacramento and Washington, et al. Only the taxpayers will be left off the train, though they will be paying for the ticket, which will surely be a lot more than $1 billion.

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