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D. P. Lubic

A more recent article, and of course, the authors and authorities are still clueless:

This was also posted at the California High Speed Rail weblog, and a fellow named Trentbridge said:

"Compared to twenty years ago, the average household has three brand new utility bills that previous generations didn’t – cell phones, cable television, and internet access. I think my monthly expense for all three is north of $200. Given that salaries and wages for the 16-34 age group are probably not keeping up with inflation in rents, food, and entertainment – they have far less money to spend on gasoline. The corollary of paying for cell phones, internet access, and cable entertainment is that your life is much more efficient – you shop online, watch movies at home, and contact your friends and make plans before leaving home. I must have spent many hours when younger just driving around – trying to find friends and entertainment or bricks and mortar shopping. There’s no need for that any more."

These remarks tie in pretty good with your observations about the use of the internet and other tools as a substitute for driving.

I of course think there are a number of factors working together to reduce driving demand, and they include your internet substitution (I'll admit to having been a little skeptical of that one, but I've talked to people and it's a bigger factor than I thought it would be), along with the usual suspects such as gasoline and insurance costs. But one thing that isn't mentioned at all seems to be that driving just isn't fun anymore.

I've seen this myself. It used to be my wife and I would enjoy a "Sunday drive" (not always on a Sunday). The ride could be relaxing, driving with the windows down on a pleasant evening, enjoying the country roads in my area. But since then, all sorts of new houses and developments sprang up, and the beautiful orchards and farms are gone. To add insult to injury, those new developments lack the feel of the older towns and parts of towns. Traffic is an annoyance, too, not only for the volume that's there now, but for the poor driving I see. Seems there are but two types of drivers--rude, arrogant hot-shots who try to scare you off the road with tailgating in a big, honking SUV, or old geezers who are nearly blind and deaf and drive about as slow as a horse and buggy, or so it seems.

It ain't the days of "American Graffiti" and "Hot Rod Girl" anymore. . .

D. P. Lubic

You might find this of interest:

Have fun reading all the commentary!

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