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402 Gas Guzzling Cities 2011-05-22

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As gas prices climb to unprecedented highs in the United States, Forbes released the top ten gas guzzling cities in America. The findings were not good news for Nashville.

The top four gas guzzling cities were:

  1. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill - NC
  2. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill - NC & SC
  3. Atlanta
  4. Nashville

The drivers of these cities averaged the most miles driven of any cities in America (I found it hard to believe that Texas did not have a city in the top ten.) Nashville is number four for a few reasons.

We have no mass transit system. We do have a city bus system that is trying; but there are not many riders.

The city has an adequate interstate highway system making it possible to drive many miles in a short period of time. It only takes 27 minutes to drive 30 miles at 75 miles per hour. Individual times and speeds may differ. Wait, 75 mph is 5 mph over the highest state speed limit. Oops, okay at 80 mph you would travel the 30 miles in ...

We love to sprawl. Move further away to live, so that you can afford a bigger house, even though you are driving 50 miles further to work, round trip.

Non-uniform taxes, schools, and services for neighboring counties drives residents looking for cheaper taxes further from the metropolitan city.

Lack of affordable housing closer to the city also leads to the sprawl mentioned above.

Cars are so cush, and electronics are so advanced, the commute is no longer dead time. As dangerous as it is, people multi-task while they are driving.

The alternate transportation paths, lanes, and greenways are expanding in Nashville; but still have lots of room to grow before the lanes lead to all parts of the city. Most bicycle riders will not ride in traffic.

Nashville leaders see the need to expand public transportation and to make the city more walking and bicycling friendly. Being number four is high enough on the list of gas guzzling cities. That is one list that there is no reason to brag about being number one or number four for that matter.

Now a few gas saving tips ...

Walk to destinations instead of driving.

Ride your bike.

Consider the mass transit options. With the rising costs of gas, they look even more appealing.

Live close to work and/or try to work close to where you live. This is hard; but if you are considering a move, then be sure to factor in transportation to the equation.

Consolidate trips by stopping at the store on the way home from work or doing several errands all on the same trip.

Promote green transportation. Support additions to the greenways and bike lanes and mass transit.

And finally, the obvious, drive less. Just stop going as much.

Let's work together and get Nashville or whatever city you might live in off of the top ten list for good.

Happy less gas guzzling trails


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