Price of Gas and the Daily Commute


I’m a big BIG advocate of the market.

I tend to think that people, in search of their selfish self interests, will signal to the market what is and what isn’t, important.

Commutes are no different.

It turns out that people where I live spend more on gas per year than anywhere else in the nation:

Raleigh, N.C. — Drivers in the Triangle spend more on gas each year than anywhere else in the U.S., according to a new study.

The average household in the Triangle racks up 21,800 miles per year, which the center says translates into 1,074 gallons of gas. With prices approaching $4 a gallon, that means area drivers are spending close to $4,300 in gas annually.

It might sound like a bad thing.  And maybe it is.  But I see it more as a good thing.

See, North Carolina is a fantastic State.  We have natural beauty unmatched anywhere in the USofA except for Minnesota.

AND we have laws that allow us to build our homes and form our communities in such a way that we can do so in an affordable manner.

People respond to incentives.  Driving more costs more and people will take that into account.  Personally, I’d rather drive from where I wanna live than have to live in a pace that I can afford to drive.

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3 comments
  1. Henry said:

    Pino, do you have time to do some computing? Gas might cost more in North Carolina, but cigarette taxes are much lower. If a 3 pack a day smoker spent 35 minutes commuting to work each day, how would that compare with smokin’ drivers in other states?

  2. dedc79 said:

    And if/when gas goes up another few dollars we are going to be left with tons of suburban sprawl and people who can’t afford to drive to their place of business. North Carolina is beautiful, but every time I’m down there parts of the state remind me more and more of the sprawling development/strip malls of northern New Jersey where I grew up.
    America, unlike much of the rest of the world, was developed based on the automobile. We are particularly poorly equipped to deal with high gas prices. Public transportation is anathema to one of the two political parties. Even our cities sprawl (see, e.g. Houston).

    • pino said:

      And if/when gas goes up another few dollars

      It just went down $0.06 today! Thank goodness.

      tons of suburban sprawl and people who can’t afford to drive to their place of business.

      I’ve pointed this out to folks before. We’re our own worst enemy in that regard. I enjoy poking fun at liberals who claim that rural electricity is a hallmark of liberal planning. I tease em that if we DIDN’T electrify the rural locations, we’d have tighter cities and not so much sprawl.

      I’m down there parts of the state remind me more and more of the sprawling development/strip malls of northern New Jersey where I grew up.

      My wife lived in NJ for a time; you’re right. But the “non-NJ” parts are almost as beautiful as MN!

      Public transportation is anathema to one of the two political parties.

      Two things:

      1. Our rail system is particularly adept at transporting cargo. Compared to European nations, we move an incredible amount of cargo by rail, not truck.

      2. How much “per ticket” are you willing to have the government pay to have people ride the train?

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