But at least prices have been historically high and, in a lot of major Euro' cities, people rely upon alternate means of transportations whereas here cheap gas has always been available so doubling of rates in a short amount of time is shocking. Even if people swore off gas today most US towns & cities just aren't prepared for thousands of people now using bikes or other alternative transports.
For the most part I'm in a 25 mile triangle... from my house it's 25~ miles to work, from my work it's 25~ miles to my Mom's place, from my Mom's place it's 25~ miles to my house. It's a good mixture of in-town driving and back roads so not a whole lot of straightaways to get some get MPG with.
You're describing the scenario of a lot of US suburban working professionals... live in the suburbs but commute over an hour a day to get to the office. It used to be just white collar jobs but now even a lot of blue collar jobs are seeing people driving long distances to work or relying upon trains & buses.
Five generations back in my immediate bloodline there was an irishman, a soctsman, a welshman and a frenchman. The others were English insofar as they could be.
But as to the facilities issue. I can't believe you are the equivalent of a city away from me from a Walmart! Was that accidental or housing prices that dictated where you live? In this day and age, I see more people moving back closer to the cities or facilities as traditional combustion engines are phased out.
I wouldn't want to raise a family where you couldn't walk to a major shopping complex, taking your kids out for exercise and drilling into them the need for such throughout their lives.
You guys make it sound like any kids you have only get to play in the street or maybe the local park. That facilities aren't available for them, making life unenjoyable. If petrol/gas gets wiped off the board, then how will you live?
The force behind the decision was taxes, emmisions testing and housing prices.
There is a community center a mile away and the kids go there to swim in the winter (Also a library). There is a park with a pool and tennis courts, a skate park and of coarse the river.
The nearest bowling alley or theater is 23 miles.
We have shops and banks and grocers but no shopping centers or bargain barns. Most of the shops are tourist traps and collectibles or high priced resturants and bed&breakfasts.
After my daughter graduates High School the wife and I will likely move closer to one of the towns or cities for the convience.
Recently unemployed I now work at a local store less than a mile away. I am planning to buy a bicycle this summer and not drive the car hardley at all.
A bike does make for difficult shopping for large families, unless you drag all the kids along on their bikes and they take a proportion of the shopping home!
But I live on my own generally and a bicycle is what I use for most of my transport. A lot of the time the journeys I make are the same time as a car would be. But you have to think about the costs of running a bike.
They aren't really that cheap. Needing new brake pads, sprockets and chain every year. Tyres can last a couple or more years unless the roads or debris slices them up. Things break. Having my own set of tools and the ability to build bikes from scratch (I don't just put wheels together, I've measured for spokes with new products and cut and threaded my spokes by hand before!) Things damage, like saddles, pedals. Rims eventually wear out, handlebars too.
And of course there is the physical side of things to realise. You don't actually start benefiting from hard cycling till you've been out for 15-20 minutes and in my city, it is hard to journey for longer than that!
At least I am ready if cars became so prohibitively expensive that most people couldn't use them. We are coming to the end of combustion engine use I fear.
Theres one all important feature of electric and hydrogen cars that I mentioned to an engineer friend of mine and he agrees totally.
There needs to be some wind activated revolving clacker device in the front grill that increases in noise with speed, to let pedestrians be aware the car is coming! Otherwise there is going to be many, many accidents due to these cars being close to silent.
In fact, I watched a show where they were testing an electric motorbike and a pedestrian walked out and almost got hit by it!
Today's cars are not that loud now. What is really noisy is the tires on the pavement. I saw a show about highways where they are working to reduce this noise using different pavement designs. Interesting that they state the engines don't produce enough noise to be concerned with.
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