Friday, September 23, 2005

Gas Prices: What Goes Up Won't Come Down

With another hurricane shutting down oil refineries along the Gulf of Mexico (about 25 percent of total US capacity), experts are predicting gas could hit $4.00 a gallon or more within a couple of weeks. The newsletter of Regional Plan Association of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut has a great summary of exactly what needs to be done in light of the fact that gas will never be cheap again:

Auto dependence is expensive, and it’s hard to find a way to pay for it that’s not regressive. That’s why it’s vital to choose the right investments. This region should focus on improving the accessibility and capacity of its transit-oriented places. There are three large scale projects that would go a long way toward accomplishing that goal: the Second Avenue Subway, a Long Island Railroad connection to Grand Central Terminal, and a new passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson. At the same time,
more mixed-use development should be focused on transit villages in towns along train lines in Long Island, Connecticut, the Hudson Valley and New Jersey.

I have written about a transit-oriented developer, Eric Anderson of Urban Green Builders, who has undertaken redeveloping Bridgeport, perhaps one of the most significant projects underway in the Tri-State region. It is exactly the sort of place that will become highly desirable as it's transformed into a mixed-use transit village. If I had two nickels to rub together, that's where I'd be investing.