by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Unintended Consequence #1: Yesterday, I had the fortune of getting behind two run-down trucks that smelled like they were burning a mixture of bacon grease, skin moisturizer, and tires for gas. I had the same experience the last time gas prices remained at a relative high for a sustained period. It is not unlikely that some unemployed chemists are living in shacks out in the boonies making their own propulsive juices. Raising gas prices will not guarantee that everybody will buy Priuses powered by electricity generated at non-coal burning plants.
Unintended Consequence #2: It has been said that the purpose of traffic planning is to make driving so obnoxious people will get out of their cars. I agree. My father, forty years ago, complained about what he called “progressive lighting systems” where everybody sits at red lights burning gas for too long. We have such a system on Patton Avenue, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I saw the advantage in making things so bad they get better. A heavy truck stalled, and there was plenty of time to push it – and at least two others – to safety before the light changed. The point is, we could make lots of engines overheat by making the lights stay red longer, thus forcing people out of their cars for exercise. We could even carry locally-grown, organic produce in our trunks to feed the children who come to the intersections to fight the obesity crisis, thus creating jobs by requiring all vehicles serving children to be equipped with stop arms, strobe lights, megaphones, disco balls, . . .