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The Genesee Transportation Council did a survey of local travel, including modes of transportation, number of miles, number of trips and attitudes about public transit.

The late-2011 Internet and phone survey of 3,671 households in Monroe, Livingston, Ontario and Wayne counties is rather fascinating.

Nine percent of respondents said they walked, biked or rode the bus regularly. Of those who did not, 40 percent said they would seek alternatives to cars if gas prices hit $4.00 a gallon. That would be 114,000 commuters.

Twenty percent of people said gas would have to get up to $8.50 for them to consider another means of transportation. That’s a lot of people willing to shell out huge bucks to keep driving!

Not surprisingly, the more money people make, the higher gas prices would have to go for them to ditch their cars.

The majority of people said their “car is king.” White people earning more than $200,000 were most likely to agree with the statement.


The survey also found women are the errand-runners:

Women account for most trips, and the disparity with men is greatest at shorter distances. The necessity of juggling trips, here and nationally, falls mainly to women. Women are far more likely than men to make multiple stops — called trip chaining — on their way to or from home. This is significant because we have been witnessing a feminization of poverty” in America over the past two decades, as more elderly women and single women with children of all races and ethnicities fall into poverty and the time and costs required by transportation become a significant burden.

 Links of the Day:

– None of the local political ads we’re seeing on television are up to snuff, according to this excellent fact-check.

– Only one thing is standing in Andrew Cuomo’s wayHillary Clinton.

– Buffalo college students keep getting beat up and robbed in late-night attacks.

– California is now allowing the sale of some homemade food.

14 Responses to My Car is King

  1. It’s a shame that Rochester feels this way.

  2. Why is it a shame Roch feels this way? It seems one has to constantly remind people on this board that the USA is a free country. People are free to feel the way they do and can spend their..THEIR… money, that they earned, any way they want.

    Those in office want more of OUR MONEY, to spend it (waste it) the way they think it should be spent or to give it to who THEY feel need it. I like my car and the freedom it gives me in a life style. I am not “ashamed” of the way I live I Like it. I like big yards, distance from my neighbors, safe streets and good schools. I like big cars and SUVs, my family both sexes are mostly over 6 feet we like the room and safety of big cars. We are not ashamed, we are proud of who we are and what we have earned through hard work and education.

  3. It’s a shame because you’re not considering how your actions impact everyone else. Cars are a major source of pollution and global warming, damaging the very air we breathe. They leave us woefully dependent on a dwindling supply of foreign oil. Cars are also one of the primary reasons America has gotten so damn fat, which is increasingly burdening our healthcare system and may result in today’s children being the first generation in ages to not outlive their parents. Most construction over the past half-century has been built with cars in mind, not people. The result has been the near-destruction of our cities with their history, diversity, walkability, and cultural offerings. Humans have lived together in towns and cities since the dawn of civilization. The vast, homogenous suburban sprawl of tract houses and big-box store wastelands is not normal.

    Look, I’m not saying cars don’t have their uses. They’re great for traveling long distances and visiting other communities. But we should not be this dependent on them. It’s bad for us as individuals and a society, and even worse for the planet.

  4. September 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm Cary Barnhart responds:

    NYC resident car ownership is by far the lowest of any US city…46%. When in NYC I notice a vast decrease in the number of obese people on the streets and subways than I encounter everywhere I go in Monroe County. There must be a correlation. I spend the winter in Palm Beach, FL. When I go to the mainland (Palm Beach County…West Palm Beach, etc.) it is no different than Monroe County as far as encountering obese people. Palm Beach County has a population of 1.35 million yet it has a public transportation system that is woefully inadequate. The car is truly king there with 6-12 lane roads the norm. The area is not the least bit walkable…except for Palm Beach proper which is an island (and home to barely any obese people…probably due more to their vast wealth…which points to a strong correlation based on income).

  5. These responses are no surprise to anyone that uses public transportation on a regular basis. Bus riders, for instance, tend to be more poor and less educated than the general public. It is not uncommon for bus riders to reek of cigarette smoke; this is a major turn off.

    More affluent consumers have good reason to avoid public transporation. Buses are inconvenient and if you are making $200k per year, your time is simply too valuable to spend it riding around on a bus. For the route I sometimes take, the bus ride takes 2 1/2 times longer than would be required if driving directly. So for more affluent consumers to avoid public transportation is actually a very rational response.

    Even people that use the bus because they cannot afford a car see it as a second class form of transportation. I don’t know how you fix that perception, but one key may be providing people with alternatives. For example, dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks might help start turning the tide in a small way. Case in point, check out Eastview Mall sometime. I challenge you to find a single bike rack at this mall. Not one. If you require that bike lanes and sidewalks be build, you may begin to turn the tide away from cars.

  6. How my actions impact others? Oh, you mean the people I buy my gas from who also sell me coffee? Or do you mean the car makers and the millions they employ? Perhaps your referring to the people who make a living off road repair. Why do the same people who applaud Obama for saving GM also complain about cars and air pollution? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Global warming can’t be proved. Temps have also risen on every major planet in this solar system, did our cars do that too? We don’t have enough oil? Really? Or is it we don’t drill for it. Ah but we do pay Brazil to drill for it on their land. We have more Natural gas than any country. A person’s health status has nothing to do with the car and is not the cars fault but rather the driver who decides to live healthy or not. Lots of fat people on the bus.

  7. It is so hard not to rant on some of these responses. I’m just going to take a deep breath and allow people their opinions. Car-dependency is the sad American way.

  8. It is a shame because were spending everyone’s tax money on more and more infastructure to support more traffic when we are gaining much in population. It’s not that cars are bad, but the way this area and many others are making it the only form of travel. Build sidewalks and bike lanes when you redo a street so people have options. Many places you can’t walk from home to pick up a gallon of milk or get an ice cream cone, you have to jump in the car. You don’t have to give up your car just don’t make it so I have to have.one.

  9. September 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    i would love to see hilary clinton be our first woman president, but i do not believe she will run again because. in 2008 she was ahead in the primarys and then one day all the money walked over to obama. I think no matter how liberial we liberials say we are we are scared stiff of a woman president. it is part of the systemic and historical oppresion of women. why are men so afraid of women? so its brotther andrew all the way 2016

  10. Car dependency in the US was the fundamental wealth creator in this country and was key to our industrial might and therefore winning WW2. Perhaps you wanted Hitler to win? We are not Europe we are a car society and always will be. The number of people who can walk to the store to get milk is small and getting smaller. Those that can find they are not in safe neighborhoods.
    Hillary is leading the major Screw up of our current Foreign policy including pro Muslim Brotherhood anti Israel. And Chicken to do something to stop Iran. Yea she’d be great.

  11. What does Hitler have to do with anything? Good grief, you’re a whack job.

  12. IF you don’t like / despise the US auto industry, you have no appreciation what it is and what it has meant to this country. WW 2 was largely won by the US auto industry. We had 1600 planes in 1936 and 139,000 planes in 1945 built mostly by the auto industry. If not Hitler would have won. Need to find a whack job read your post. Too bad you can’t debate my points so go for the name call. You say, Cars caused global warming, lack of diversity, fat kids, a decline in life expectancy, the arts were hurt … got any other issues to blame on cars? You can’t prove any of those claims. And you call me a whack job? Look in mirror.

  13. Because once people start bringing up Hitler and Nazis, unless the conversation is in fact about genocide and war crimes, it’s a pretty clear sign they’re desperate and/or crazy.

  14. Yea that makes sense ….. Can’t mention the name of Hitler in any other contex in your world expect the ones YOU deem rational. Whats the truth? You lost the debate .. so you try and move the subject to another issue. Sorry that won’t work. Cars arent the problem, you are … …live with it or should we say them ..
    Don’t reject cars embrace them, appreciate them. Your life will be much happier.

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