# How to immediately reduce the US fuel demand

1. Sep 28, 2005

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
It struck me other day that there is a very easy way to signficantly reduce the US fuel demand; that is to say, easy compared to many other options.

In anticipation of the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, in what year...1980 I think, LA made a great effort to reduce traffic on the roads by, among other thing, asking companies to stagger their work shifts. Completely voluntary, by spreading the traffic out, the effort was so effective that in fact when the Olympics came, the freeways were as empty as I'd ever seen them. There were no traffic jams.

IIRC, a car uses about 30-50% as much fuel when idling as it does driving at full speed. This may have improved in recent years, but I would bet that the fuel consumption at idle is still significant. I also know that LA [city] living can mean hours stuck in traffic with the engine idling. So, using this logic, it seems possible that we could reduce demand in the cities by managing the traffic patterns more effectively; esp by staggering shifts as was done in LA. In principle and shooting from the hip, it would seem that we could reduce demand by as much as 50% [for some sectors of the population] or more. Consider that during peak hours, the average freeway speed is about 20-30 MPH or less.

Last edited: Sep 28, 2005
2. Sep 28, 2005

### blimkie

I think that is an excelent idea. At constructions sites and free way jams u sit in traffic for hourr,burn alot of gas and dont get anywhere. It would still be incredibly difficult to manage the traffic tho considering urban planners are alwyas trying to overcome this. I hope to own a hybring when i am older then waste no gas in traffic jams!

3. Sep 28, 2005

### Pengwuino

Hey if it works for LA, then that's one hell of an idea.

However, can it be permanent? Sounds like the olympic game idea was temporary and might have had a lot of problems that would have had to have been "toughed out". Plus of course, this won't effect demand that much since when you really get down to it, traffic jam-based waste probably accounts for a incredibly low amount of gas. Most cities just really don't have that bad of traffic problems and a few construction projects could probably easily outdo the entire economy having to screw up its workers' hours.

Here in Fresno, we have it pretty bad, even compared to LA but when it comes down to it, its only for a few hours a day and the new freeways have made the situation much better since you now have 3 freeways going to the north side of town.

Maybe the solution is more roads! Oddly enough I was wondering what exactly causes traffic jams a few hours ago when i was driving home. What exactly does cause it? Theres always a traffic jam at this one part of 41 every day at the same time... but I was thinking about it and it made no sense. All the off-ramps have a LOT of space to allow cars to back up. Is it bad driving? Fresno has its share of s*** drivers... so maybe thats it lol.

4. Sep 28, 2005

### blimkie

yea maybe if you guys got the demand down there south of the boarder we woulnt ahve to pay as much up here!! jokes
but damn tho few eeks ago the gas was up around a 1.25$a litre!! thats like 5 bucks a gallon! 5. Sep 28, 2005 ### Pengwuino Some guy on another forum who lives in Canada said he was payen$2.50/litre a few daysa go.

6. Sep 28, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

I say telecommuting is the way to go. People do not need to drive to an office to sit on the phone or in front of a computer. Unless you need to physically touch someone or physically move objects, you can do your job at home. Just think of the millions of workers that would take off the roads!! Think how much quality of life would improve for all of those workers!

I worked out of my home for 13 years and they were the most productive years of my life. I slept more, felt better, worked harder, and had more time to spend with my family.

7. Sep 28, 2005

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
That's true!!! I am a huge fan of telecommuting as well. In fact, my business couldn't exist without it.

Did you ever read The Third Wave by Toffler [Future Shock]?

8. Sep 28, 2005

### Pengwuino

I doubt that evo. For the 9 hours your stuck at work, you'll probably trade that in for 9 hours at home where you will inevitably find it more convenient to go off to the store or see a movie or some crap like that. People are lazy and want to go places, work keeps them in place.

9. Sep 28, 2005

### blimkie

That is also a good idea. Alot of use driving goes on these days because people are lazy. I walk to school everyday rather than drive. I actually like the exercise.

10. Sep 28, 2005

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Sure, but after they get fired, they'll get the hang of it the next time.

11. Sep 28, 2005

### Pengwuino

How would you get fired if you are working at home though

Whose to say that "trip to the bathroom" wasn't an ampm run. I could definitely get to the ampm from here much quicker then some people take in the bathroom.

12. Sep 28, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

No, Ivan and I can both attest to how hard you work when you work at home.

If a person is a complete moron and can't work unsupervised - fire them.

The great thing about working at home is that you "can" make your own schedule and do little chores in the middle of the day if necessary because you can make up the time at any point during the day or night.

edit:I see Ivan and I are in tune tonight.

13. Sep 28, 2005

### Pengwuino

14. Sep 28, 2005

### blimkie

Mind you im not in a career yet but when i try to do school work at home i get side trackes easily by random things such as televsion and music and i tend to eat more. I spend alot of tiem on this site since i have found out abaout it i should be stduying for a test right now!

15. Sep 28, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

My entire department when I worked at AT&T worked from home. We had tens of thousands of people nationwide working from home and no one had a problem. It's called having a brain.

Last edited: Sep 28, 2005
16. Sep 28, 2005

### Art

Your bosses will still know if the work isn't being done.

The days of managers micro managing employees are long gone in most enlightened industries. Employees are 'empowered' these days. They are set agreed goals and targets and are expected to be skilled and hardworking enough to achieve them. If they don't then pretty soon it's bye bye.

17. Sep 28, 2005

### Pengwuino

Yes but you guys are all missing the point. Its not whether you get your work done or if you feel better, its about whether you are driving more or less. My contention is that if you are at home, you are free to drive off places to do various tasks knowing full well that you can just do your work a little later then you normally do or start earlier where as at a real brick and morter place, you arent normally allowed to just drive off go to do some quick shopping or get some food.

18. Sep 28, 2005

### blimkie

very good point. Except you might still be saving gas working from home just running around the corner to the store if you would usually have a half hour to an hour commute to work

19. Sep 28, 2005

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
People still need to shop and whatnot. But by far, the major fuel consumer for most people is the work commute.

20. Sep 28, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

Trust me, you won't be driving during work hours very often because you'll get fired for not doing your job. Necessary trips will need to be done anyway, even if you work in an office.

Penqwuino, many studies have been done for many years and telecommuting works, it's successful, and saves a huge amount of money and gas.