Posts Tagged ‘gas prices’

The problem isn’t high gas prices. It’s the lack of choice.

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Have you seen the price of arugula? It can be a pricey green for salads, but fortunately salad eaters have choices. That old iceberg lettuce is never that much money and the more dedicated can often grow their own. It’s good to have choices.

Unfortunately for many of us in Southeast Michigan, when it comes to high gas prices, we don’t have choices — at least in the short run. Much of Southeast Michigan is urban sprawl and car dependent by design with mediocre to no transit options. Except for the most urbanized areas, Southeast Michigan’s walkability and bike ability is mediocre to poor as well. Complete Streets are typically a resolution rather than reality.

So while 9% of those recently surveyed blame President Obama for the high gas prices, it’s surprising that local officials that have promoted sprawl are escaping the blame for this automobile dependence.

The area’s main sprawl supporter is L. Brooks Patterson who says:

I love sprawl.  I need it.  I promote it.  Oakland County can’t get enough of it.

Yes, believe it or not, that’s actually his quote. Why is he being given a pass?

Those living in sprawling communities have few options in the face of high gas prices. It’s affecting peoples’ quality of life. We have built much of this region in such a way that residents are more vulnerable to the price of oil — and we’re all paying the price.

It’s time we held this area’s politicians and planners more accountable and demanded better transportation choices.

Additional reading:
Drive to Spend: Sprawl and Household Transportation Expenses