Miss C. (sparklescamp) wrote in hawaiinokaoi,
Miss C.

Thoughts on fuel consumption

The other day, I saw a police car out in Hawaii Kai rigged up with a trailer hauling two brand-new ATVs (a substantial load), and I got to thinking, tons of families and small businesses around here could use a little trailer hooked up to a mid-size car to haul stuff around instead of driving a van, a (usually full-size) pick-up truck or SUV everywhere. Then when they need to go to work or just run to the store, they could just leave the trailer at home or at the shop, and they would save tons of gas. I hardly see anybody who has a small business who drives a regular passenger car - it is a very rare sight.

Families who have two or more vehicles could easily use only one, with one or more family members biking, walking, taking public transportation, or driving a moped or motorcycle to work every weekday. Even people who do maintain a car just for themselves could take alternate transportation on the weekdays, and use the car only on the weekends.

Honolulu is pretty high up on the list of healthy US cities, and not everyone is a gas-guzzling, tree-killing pig. When I walk to work at the right time of day, I do see plenty of other people walking and biking downtown. I even see some of them transporting their kids on bikes. One Chinese man has a half-grown daughter who sits sideways on the luggage rack, the one over the back tire, and balances perfectly as he speeds down the hill on the way to her school. One dude I saw a couple years ago had a fancy covered trailer rigged up on the back of his bike for his toddler, and another guy had a tandem bike for himself and his son.

But we can do SO much better! If there is enough demand, the city will do something about making the roads safer for bicycles. In a city with nearly perfect weather and relatively short distances to everywhere, we could also cut our demand for gas in half - or more - without even causing ourselves any pain. With that kind of surplus, prices of gas would be sure to go down - if everyone were to participate.
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