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Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all!
Ante omnia armari
To each of you ... Thanks for stopping by.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Entry for July 27, 2008
Gasoline prices were down as low as $3.85 a gallon in some areas along the trip. Traffic was brisk but nowhere near as bad as it has been in past years. My guess is that the cost of fuel is indeed keeping many people off the roads. My Chevy Cobalt averaged over 30 MPG for the 2,200-mile roundtrip; the onboard computer showed that the average speed (city and highway) was 55 MPH. If traffic allowed, I would cruise at the posted limits (mostly 70 MPH). On a rare dash to avoid a bottleneck, I would hit 80 MPH. The worst roads and heaviest traffic on the trip were in Illinois. Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida seem to have a good handle on road maintenance and managing traffic flow in construction areas.
For overnight stays while traveling, Marriot’s Fairfield Inns are very clean and accommodating, and I have never found one in a questionable area of any town. Rest areas on the interstates are accessible, clean, and usually safe during daylight hours. Well-lit busy large truck stops are the best bet for stops during the night. The Cobalt has over a 400-mile range on a tank of gas, but I usually look for a place to refuel when the onboard computer says that I have 100 miles of fuel left.
Some politicians are resurrecting the advocacy of a 55 MPH national speed limit to conserve fossil fuel. That is nonsense, few observed the limit years ago and few will observe it if it is again applied. A more effective step would be to keep the speed limits that exist, and have the automakers hardwire some chips into cars and trucks governing the top speed to 80 MPH. My guess is that the price of gasoline will drop low enough for most of us to resume our lives as usual, and for us to lose our zealotry for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Would a government mandate help? Mandatory belt restraints, air bags, and air pollution control would never have happened via the benevolence of the automakers. Mandating fuel economy may have merit. America loves to drive.