Tip For Driving In The Carpool Lane: Articles Of Incorporation Will NOT Be Considered A Passenger.

Carpool HOV LaneJonathan Frieman of Northern California took his new baby, Articles of Incorporation for his non-profit JoMiJo, and entered the Hwy 101 carpool lane. After getting a $478 ticket for driving solo in the carpool lane, he contested the ticket and what should be considered a passenger on the grounds that a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 treated corporations as people, granting them First Amendment rights to contribute freely to political campaigns. Mr. Frieman lost.

Going forward, if Mr. Frieman insists on buying his non-profit JoMiJo a plane ticket and seat each time he flies, the state should reconsider his claim. Until then – next! [Wired]


Portland’s NO Off-Street Parking Apartments Leads To More On-Street Parking – Not Fewer Cars.

On-street parking clogged neighborhood.You’d think in-city apartments built with easy access to mass transit and without parking garages would discourage car ownership but that’s not happening in Portland – there’s just too much free parking on the neighboring streets. In a study put together for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 72% of the apartment residents surveyed (with and without off-street parking) owned a car. Of the car owners, 64% make their daily commute by biking, walking, riding mass transit or carpooling/ridesharing to work.

There’s a great quote in the study from the car owners:

“A common trend in this study is that people are reluctant to get rid of their vehicles. One of the questions the survey asked was what amenities would reduce the respondent’s need for motorized vehicle ownership. Many people stated that there were no amenities that would reduce their need for a vehicle.”

And the quote is coming from mass-transit riding – bicycling – walking Portlandians!

Convincing people to live car-free may be a mistake. Encouraging people to drive less is probably a better way to go. [Oregon Live]


When Jubbling Goes Bad: Taking Two Trips To Bring 31 Preschoolers To A Restaurant In A Compact Car.

Melanie Minnie takes 31 preschoolers out for lunch in a subcompact car.Melanie Minnie, a preschool teacher in Pretoria SA, wanted to take her class of 31 preschoolers out for a celebratory lunch at a local mall. Ms. Driver didn’t have a bus available so she loaded the little buggers into her Renault Clio, a subcompact five-door hatchback, and it ended up only taking two trips to get them to the restaurant. How did she do it? She packed and drove 12 kids in the first trip and the remaining 19 in the second. Ms. Minnie did get caught by the police, and received a $170 ticket, when she returned to take the last 19 kids back to their preschool.

As much as we love Ms. Minnie’s carpool Jubbling, we do not approve her decision to drive 31 kids in two trips. Now three trips is reasonable but doing it in two is just showing off. [Yahoo]


Might As Well Start Driving NOW As If Gas Costs $5+ Per Gallon

Metered driving.The NY Times Green blog posted an article, What Next for Gas Prices?, in which fuel prices were tracked and shown to have risen $.13 in one week and $.30 over one month. From Feb 1 – Mar 1 2012 in Seattle, gas prices have risen by almost $.50 and is now selling for over $4.00 per gallon. The price of gas has become a huge political issue that could determine the results of the 2012 US Presidential election.

What’s Jubbling’s take? We think you should ignore the politics and drive as if gas already costs $5/gallon. Heck, make it $10/gallon. It’s a very simple mindset change but one that most people wouldn’t consider. Do you really need to make that quick trip to the grocery store to buy beer when you already have a fifth of vodka? Improvise and find ways to avoid the impulse drives because in your mind, it cost you $100+ to fill your tank. It’s a mental cushion that is similar to setting your watch ahead by 15 minutes so you always feel late.

Carpooling, grouping your needed trips into one or driving a hybrid are all great. But finding ways to drive less is the key because the imagined $5+ per gallon of gas in your tank is not a sunk cost. It’s a meter that is running and dropping the value of the gasoline in your tank every time you drive your car.


All Traffic Moves Faster With Hybrids In HOV Lane – Even The HOV Lane

Clean Air Vehicle Sticker - CaliforniaResearchers from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), Michael Cassidy and Kitae Jang, just completed a study about the effect on traffic speed caused by the inclusion and now exclusion of Hybrid cars from the HOV lane. Since 2005, California has allowed Hybrid vehicles access to the HOV lanes as an incentive to purchase low emission cars. That all ended in July 2011 when lawmakers decided to do away with that perk.

What happened? According to Cassidy and Jang’s analysis, it slowed down traffic in all lanes – even the HOV lanes with carpoolers only. It seems to go against logic but the now less-congested carpool lane drivers slowed down to match the reduced speeds of the more-congested highway traffic. And safety may be another reason HOV/carpool drivers are slowing down; they’re anticipating cars jumping in and out of their lane. [NY Times]


Jubbling Doesn’t Think Rising Gas Prices Is All Bad News

The Seattle Times posted an article from the Associated Press, Drivers start to cut back on gas as prices rise.

Consumer spending information analyzed and supplied by MasterCard Spending Pulse has determined that gasoline consumption has gone down despite the fact that more people have returned to work. The high price of gas is obviously motivating the reduction but consumers are also downsizing their vehicles and/or finding alternative modes of transportation. According to the article, in addition to downsizing, more people are carpooling, riding mass transit or walking to where the need to get.

Moving away from gas and our normal patterns is not going to be easy but changing our habits now may be the only solution. As we reduce in the US, the worldwide demand for gasoline continues to increase due to an influx of new gas consumers in countries like China. Translation: the price of gas isn’t likely to go down permanently so choosing to consume less now and developing alternate means is probably a better option than being forced to make that decision later.