The Omaha World-Herald recently ran a series of articles about Driving’s new reality, which incuded articles such as “Energy-efficient hybrid buffers costs of a long commute”, “Those carefree car days mom recalls from youth: gone”, and “Farmer saw the writing on the wall, and it said ‘$$$$'”.
The articles point to people starting to change their driving habits, noting that gasoline consumption in Nebraska and Iowa has decreased slightly in recent months.
In one of the articles in the series, He bikes to work in an effort to wean himself off car use, Omaha bicycle commuter Troy Nelson is profiled:
After a combination of $3 gas and a price hike at his parking garage, Nelson decided in February to begin biking to work. With spring here and summer on the way, Nelson expects to make the 7-mile round trip by bike every workday, shaving his driving by 35 miles a week just as the year’s highest gas prices hit.
Biking can be rough in Omaha traffic. Part of Nelson’s route includes 24th and Leavenworth Streets. Drivers have yelled and cars have passed very close. “When you commute, you have to know where to ride in the lane,” he said. “If you’re too far to the side, cars try to pass you without changing lanes. I can only wish for bike lanes.”
Congratulations, Troy, for making the decision to bike to work.
But still, when a 7-mile round-trip bicycle commute is seen as extraordinary, and when a daily 100-mile commute (from the “hybrid” article) is seen as reasonable, attitudes toward the “new reality” of the ever-increasing costs of gasoline still have a long way to go…