When it comes to working out what people will pay for auto fuel, we should
regard cars as being like real estate. I recall regular surprise at the
constantly accelerating price of houses, instead of grasping that this is
what people will pay to ³own² a roof (if they can afford it and government
infrastructure subsidy influences sprawl).
What¹s interesting is what things people will give up to pay for their
autodependency. The first thing that may happen is that houses/shops/schools
that require a lot of fuel to get to them may alter their price in relation
to energy costs.
Prof Phil Goodwin referred to decisions of this kind as ³the churn² about
which I wrote a piece:
(Quote): I am impressed, nonetheless, with observations made by Prof Phil
Goodwin in his 1997 lecture on Transport ['Solving Congestion', Inaugural
Lecture for the Professorship of Transport Policy, University College
London, October 1997] about the "apparent stability" of populations. He said
that this "is composed, we now know, of volatile, unstable, changing
undercurrents, what the pollsters call 'churn'. Every year anything up to a
third of people change their jobs, up to one in seven move house. At each of
these life events there may be a reason to reconsider travel patterns and
choices... As a result, broadly speaking, a process of adaptation to a new
policy starts on day one, takes between five and ten years before it is near
enough to completion to get lost in other and longer term processes."
Goodwin reminded his audience how adaptable most people are. They change
jobs. They move house. They get married, divorced, have children who change
schools, move to be with relatives and so on. They cope with a lot of
change. The "1 in 7" statistic reflects the enormous number of choices being
made by thousands and thousands of people every 12 months.
Imagining such a statistic extended over 5 to 10 years and you can see how
between say 2005 and 2010 there is a real prospect that robust policies to
improve the present situation have a real prospect of making an impact. Of
course there must be political will in Whitehall and through local
government but this will be helped by the myriad individual choices of
"churn". (END QUOTE)
And how predictable therefore that Birmingham Planning department have just
circulated a consultation document by way of developing Interim
Supplementary Planning Advice on "Mature suburbs residential guidelines -
Feb 2005". "Mature suburbs" are what used until yesterday (:)) to be called
"inner-city" with all the notoriety that attached to that term, and refer to
a belt of housing within a mile and half to two miles of Birmingham's
centre. Quote "It is anticipated that pressure for new residential
development at high densities in these suburbs will continue and this could,
if inappropriate, erode the character that makes these places so special."
This is an astonishing (tho' predictable in view of the above reflections on
energy costs) change of tone. Guess what as a resident here for 30 years I
am even noticing "white folk" starting to move in "er... It's not so bad
.,.really .. Is it?". There goes the neighbourhood. Whoops (:))!
Where I'm going with this as I'm sure you've guessed is that a decade after
I became enlightened on the subject people living close to the city centre
may begin to ponder whether they need their cars, but I anticipate a great
deal of skeuomorphic car use before that notion sinks home.
For something on that last concept see:
On 10/4/05 10:42 am, "SHYRLEY WILLIAMS" <shyrley.williams@...
> I don't reckon thats true. We pay the equivalent of $8
> a gallon here *and* our wages are lower and cost of
> living much higher. Yet the SUV sales are soaring. On
> our little roads too.
> Mind boggling.
> --- "G. Allen Morris III" <gam3-yahoo@...> wrote:
>> It is my understanding that the price of gas has to
>> get to $4.00 per
>> gallon (US) before we (citizens of the US) stop
>> buying SUVs. I am
>> thinking that the BBC just can't understand why
>> Americans are not more
>> upset by the cost of fuel.
>> On Sat, Apr 09, 2005 at 10:53:35PM +0000, Simon
>> Baddeley wrote:
>>> Simon Baddeley saw this story on BBC News Online
>> and thought you
>>> should see it.
>>> ** Message **
>>> BBC report on US gas prices
>>> ** US drivers fume as gas prices soar **
>>> There are increasing signs that Americans are
>> changing their driving habits in the face of record
>> prices at the fuel pumps.