Thursday, July 3, 2008

What will it take to get Americans out of their cars?

That question was being asked a lot a few years ago as we considered the option of fixed rail. Will people really give up their cars and take mass transit? Now, the answer is clearer. The price of gas has indeed forced folks to change their driving habits, and the tipping point seems to be around $4 a gallon.
Remember the good ole days when we in the U.S. were paying about $1 per gallon and gasped at the thought that our European friends were paying $5 a gallon for gas? The Christian Science Monitor ran a piece yesterday that shows that the British are still trying to find ways to deal with the price of gas, which is now $9 a gallon on their side of the pond.
The Kauai Garden Island has published their first in a series of stories of how Kauai residents are changing over to motorcycles, mopeds, scooters and even trikes. Trikes?
Well, although he took some good natured ribbing this session from Rep. Scott Nishimoto on his "training wheels" legislation, maybe Rep. Glenn Wakai was on to something when he pushed for regulations on three-wheeled mopeds in House Bill 931. The bill, which was signed into law in June, exempts certain three-wheeled mopeds from seating and passenger restrictions on the operation of mopeds. It requires liability and property damage insurance on three-wheeled mopeds and restricts three-wheeled mopeds to roadways with speed limits of 35 mph or less.
At 100 miles per gallon, who's laughing now?

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