We only live 23 miles from Chicago’s downtown. Yesterday, I spent over an hour and 15 minutes just getting into the city. Obviously, I was foolish enough to leave during rush hour and not off peak. When you’re moving at a snails pace on the highway you have a lot of time to think, sometimes that can be a bad thing. Highways were built during the Eisenhower years and have steadily been expanded ever since. But, as they have grown so too has the population, the sprawl, and the congestion. The highways have never been built to handle the volume. Especially in my area. We’re still driving on designs built for a smaller number of people and cars. The massive investment to get our roads to match our demand will never happen. So we’re stuck sitting in our cars for hours. At present a waste of fuel and time. What is needed now is a rush hour fee. Just the way they do it in London. London charges you a fee for entering the downtown area. This is done to reduce congestion, and its working. More people are taking public transportation and are driving into the city when they really need to. This fee structure right now could work in our major cities. Great way to reduce congestion and move people to mass transit. It would reduce pollution and lower our dependency of foreign oil. I can imagine this would be a tough sell, but I for one would welcome the change from sitting bumper to bumper on a daily commute.
A good friend commented on my auto entry from the other day. He passed on a tidbit that Honda is running a special hydrogen vehicle lease program in Southern California. Just when you thought GM might have had an advantage, the Japanese beat them to the punch again.