Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Fuel prices now really affecting behavior

I'll admit it requires a topical stretch to justify covering cycling on U.S. Food Policy. Pick one of the following:
U.S. Food Policy --> food overconsumption --> factors that affect obesity --> active lifestyles --> cycling
U.S. Food Policy --> eating locally and with a low carbon footprint --> personal behaviors that help the environment --> cycling
U.S. Food Policy --> fast food nation --> automobile culture --> cycling.
But the topic is too much fun to resist. You gotta love it when a reader in College Station comments that she has started bike commuting in the Texas summer weather. Or when my friend and neighbor Phil Goff, who showed me my current bike route to work on the marvelous bike lanes in Cambridge, is featured on local television talking about a new bike lane in Boston (the coverage highlighted some negative comments from motorists, and I wish it had pointed out that widespread cycling and transportation make driving more pleasant, too). I have been enjoying Boston's Bike Fridays, which offer newcomers a chance to try bike commuting with a police escort and free breakfast. Boston's Hub on Wheels event on September 21 will also be fun.

I sense some momentum, here. Economist and blogger James Hamilton, who gave a brilliant keynote speech at the AAEA / ACCI conference last week, believes that high fuel prices are mostly here to stay and that -- especially just in the last half year -- they have finally reached the point where they strongly influence consumer behavior. Does that seem plausible to you?


Ashley said...

Good thing I had my bike shipped to Boston. Sounds like there is a lot going on for the bike community, just like here in Austin. I am so happy to sell my car! See you soon Dr. Wilde.

Renata said...

So, what do they serve for breakfast???