Just in Time for Your Three-Day Weekend

Comments

1
Great post. So sad about the failure of last year's bill, dammit.
2
And this my frieds are why Americans are just to stupid to live.

So DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!! I mean "our" driving has nothing to do with the use of fossil fuels right?

3
And that was friends not frieds.

Thank you
4
great link to the municipal archives photostream - thanks!
5
With this I am glad to know that Governor Gregoire knows that environmentalism is a mindless pipe dream. We need to increase road capacity, make driving more convenient, cut back on useless transit expenditures and open up more rural lands for development.

Thank you, Governor Gregoire, for helping us get over our stupid obsession with "saving the environment". Here's hoping greeny enviro-douche Mayor McGinn gets kicked out of office for trying to force us to reduce our emissions and car usage.
6
Got fuel to burn, got roads to drive
7
I tried to live without a car. It was expensive and inconvenient and not at all fun. If I have to spend money to get around, I'd rather have a good time doing it. And be able to get away, where there are trees and open sky and out of the city. I am willing to pay more for gas.
8
@5 neither one's a hero. Neither one's a clown.
9
"We need to put a limit on carbon emissions in Washington and in the northwest,"

Putting a limit on how much gas someone would consume wouldn't work at all. The price needs to reflect accurately the waste it produces. When people start paying for what they use, they'll use less, and if they don't we can use the extra money to clean up.
10
i sold my car 5 years ago when gas hit $3 a gallon. i will never regret doing that. i feel like i've been freed from years of servitude to my car! now if only light rail connected between SEA and PDX, life would be superb.
11
@7

I have a hard time you are spending less money on your car than on public transit, since the average amount spent per year is $8487, with SUVs cracking $10,000 easily. Buying a peak two-zone Puget Pass would cost $1188 per year, and if you live and work within Seattle that number would be considerably less.

If you ride a bike, you could easily cut that cost even further. For example, you could ride to a station that would make your trip a one-zone trip, thus saving more money.

12
I got a five day weekend, you insensitive clod!

That said, farm runoff ain't great either.
13
@11,

That so-called "average" cost of owning a car is a joke (I own two vehicles and spend perhaps $2500 on gas, insurance, and regular maintenance, tops, with perhaps another $1000 during a really bad year if something major goes wrong with one or both of them, but the latter figure generally varies between $200-500)

That said, transit may well be cheaper than the actual cost of driving, until you start figuring in the value of lost time. Then, not so much.

I'm looking forward to zero emission electric cars, myself, but don't kid yourself - most people will still be driving for the rest of your natural life - whether you like it or not.
14
@11 or even better, realize that not one size fits all and you can have OPTIONS.

Example: Drive on days when you actually have to pick up groceries or go someplace bizarre and take transit/bike/walk the other days.

Even a change from driving both ways 5 days a week to driving both ways 3 days a week is a MASSIVE change.
15
@11 My car is paid for. I spend an average of fifteen dollars a month on gas. Insurance is a couple hundred. Public transport would be cheaper but way more unpleasant.
16
The people who find transit unpleasant and avoid it are often far more unpleasant than the people they're avoiding.
17
@11, those "average amount spent on cars" numbers always smell like bullshit to me. I don't drive very many miles so my gas cost is extremely low, I'm old so my insurance is cheap, and my car is a very boring econobox that cost almost nothing to buy and less to maintain.

Plus those calculations never include the cost of my time, which is not free. Public transit costs three or four times as much time as driving for me, and for many other area residents -- hundreds of hours a year I could better use commenting on Slog (thousands for some people). And public transportation is extraordinarily limiting if you are starting from or arriving at even slightly unusual places.

If I worked downtown, this calculation would instantly change -- but I don't. And only a tiny fraction of the region works downtown.

I think the reason for the increased usage is a combination of the growing Losangelization of the region, with houses and jobs increasingly being located in far-flung areas, and the economic downturn, which has forced a lot of people to give up looking for that dream job in a cottagey neighborhood and settle for one in some grungy office park out in the Kent Valley or Marysville or somewhere, while they live in a place they can afford like Orting or Mill Creek. Commutes are getting longer, in other words. Even the people who are lucky enough to live in Seattle neighborhoods increasingly have to go way out into prefab-land where the jobs are and the transit ain't.
18
@16 I'm not saying the people are unpleasant. Although being crammed into a car with many strangers usually ends with a head cold or cough. I don't like standing around in the street, waiting. I don't like being closed in with strangers as well. Never have. Me bad.
19
Damn. Baconcat @16 for the EPIC WIN!
20
I can't speak for everyone but in '08 I rode the bus everywhere because I got a $50-off monthly bus pass from work and cause gas was so high. Now I can't afford the bus pass between those increases and my apartment rent going up so I walk everywhere I can and drive places I can't walk to
21
@15- The purchase cost of your car gets spread out over the lifetime of the car to make the "average cost of ownership."

@17- It's an average, so you're lower than the average, congrats. It doesn't mean the average is suspect.
22
Gasoline should be $7 a gallon.
23
@21, when the average yearly cost is more than the total cost of my car. I didn't spend that average in the year I bought it, for cash, let alone this year. People who buy new cars every other year are dumb. But they vastly outnumber the people who don't buy any cars at all. Sad but true: human nature wins every time.
24
All of America could stop buying and driving cars tomorrow and it would not make one God damn iota of a difference in worldwide energy consumption trends.
25
Did you look at the graph on the Sightline post? This looks more like 2008 was an anomaly, with especially depressed sales due to the gasoline price spike. Otherwise, you have a nice decreasing trend over time, with significantly lower use in 2009 vs 2007.
26
I drive a geo-metro .... which has an 8 gallon tank and can get a good 400+ miles out of it ... so I feel pretty good about driving. I have spent money getting my battery and alternator replaced but it costs about $25 a fill-up, which I don't do very often.

I take the bus to and from work and walk to get groceries and such. The bus is a bitch, I wish that they were more reliable in this town. I have never been able to understand Seattle's lack of reliable or far reaching or fast (light rails, trains) public transportation while whining about emissions and wanting to be a green city. It's bullshit, utter bullshit.

When I visited DC a year ago I never felt so free, so capable of maneuvering public transportation and so confident in it getting me where I needed to be on time.