Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Views on Gasoline in South Carolina  0

Posted on May 28th, 2007. About Uncategorized.

In my previous blog post, I highlighted some of the stand-out observations from my recent trip to South Carolina. The gasoline issue was worth expounding upon.

  • During the time we were in Charleston, SC, the lowest gasoline prices in the nation could be found in – you guessed it – Charleston, SC. This was clearly stated on the local news channels there, so the locals do actually recognize that they are paying less for gas than the rest of us.
  • Despite my first observation, every night, the local 6:00 news channels devoted an amazing amount of time to “rising gas prices” and how expensive gas has become.
  • After the reporters bemoaned how much gas is costing people of the Lowcountry, they would transition to a segment during which a different journalist would stand in front of a Charleston map, highlighting points where gas could be purchased at the cheapest prices. My friend’s husband calls the segment “The Pump Finder.”
  • There are still gazillions of SUVs and trucks on the roads there! In Columbia and in the upstate, it was even more prominent. We would count the number of compact cars from time to time, and with each sampling the number of trucks/SUVs dramatically overpowered the quantity of compacts (or any other sedans, for that matter).
  • The local radio shows are not encouraging alternative fuels, riding bicycles, or better public transportation, but rather – how to get more oil, ie) drilling in Alaska, or building more refineries. This is what we call – missing the point.

That being said, I was pleased to see Charleston’s mayor, Joe Riley, on a news broadcast, discussing the implementation of bike lanes around the city, including from West Ashley to downtown Charleston (I wanted these during all four years I lived in West Ashley while I was in medical school). Better late than never, I suppose. I was also pleased that Charleston finally passed the 1/2–cent sales tax increase for road and transportation improvement. I voted for it in 2004, but it barely lost at that point. Perhaps enough bicycle enthusiasts have moved to the area now, or maybe enough motorists grew frustrated with puncturing tires on crater-sized potholes and realized they would have to pay to have them fixed.

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