Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Here!

Gas prices in the St. Louis area hit $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded yesterday, while the news is reporting that Missouri has the lowest priced gasoline in the nation.

Remembering not long ago, when $2.00 per gallon gas seemed expensive, paying double that is borderline surreal.

We're making adjustments, and figuring our future decisions we'll be permanently shifted based on higher fuel costs.

For starters, we're car sharing on the home front, only operating one vehicle. Any car purchased in the future will average a minimum of 30 mpg, and we'll likely share that car as well.

Future residential moves will be withing walkin distance of Metrolink and shopping, and jobs will be in places along the Metrolink line. It's fortunate to have these options in St. Louis.

Having friends living in Jefferson and St. Charles County who deal with long commutes to work makes me wonder how the higher fuel prices are impacting them.

Having family living in California, where gas prices are running around $4.50 per gallon and long drives in heavy traffic are a routine part of the lifestyle, makes me wonder how California and other western states can sustain their car cultures.

Driving the highways on the weekends around St. Louis, and you notice a significant reduction in traffic. There's no doubt that people are definitely cutting back on unnecessary trips.

In the long run, higher fuel prices will encourage greater use of public transportation and walkable, close in communities. This should help make the urban core of the St. Louis region more competitive when people consider their neighborhood choices.

3 comments:

stlmark said...

I too am feeling the pinch of ~$4.00/gal gas. Riding a 49cc scooter from STL to Chesterfield is my best option.

However, what if you were to lose your job in the city and had to work in the exurbs. Would you move to be close to work?

Rick Bonasch said...

We're pretty much committed to keeping our activities close in. Jobs, recreation, etc. Car pooling. Etc.

Out of area choices are pretty much being ruled out. It's a proactive decision. It's good that most jobs are downtown.

Anonymous said...

How much a community is impacted by higher gas prices depends on two basic quantitative measures:
1. Fuel expenditures as a percent of household income, and
2. Number of attractive alternatives which is largely determined by distance to employer and favorite destinations.

StL region ranks poorly on a national scale for these factors but not as bad as in the Dukes of Hazard communities in the deep south.