I've told my wife that I don't mind spending money; I hate wasting money. Why buy so much food at once that it spoils before it can be eaten? Just take some cash and throw it in the trash and save the fuel needed to drive to and from the grocery store.
I hate it when other people force me to waste money. I wrote about wasting fuel recently: Excessive Spending - The Cost of Inefficiency. Today, I wrote the following to The Detroit News:
Sunday's article about gas (Sunday, September 11, 2005 - High gas prices: gouging or not?) prices really misses the point. It is not simply supply nor demand, but rather waste that is a key factor in the cost of our personal transportation. More than a month ago, I wrote a letter to MDOT's chairman, Gloria Jeff, concerning the poor signal progression along one of Detroit's busiest arteries, Telegraph Road, and the associated waste in gasoline and time resulting from exceptionally bad signal progression. Neither Ms. Jeff, nor any representative of MDOT, has seen fit to respond.The State of Michigan charges almost 20 cents per gallon of gasoline as a flat tax plus 6% sales tax on the price per gallon. This is an incentive for the state to promote fuel inefficiency! Am I the only one who gets really PO'd about this situation?
The situation on Telegraph road is one of countless examples of how local, county and state traffic engineering departments are completely failing drivers in metropolitan Detroit. Think not? Consider the difference between EPA mileage estimates for highway and city driving. Why the difference? Because the EPA recognizes the waste associated with stop and start driving versus constant speed driving, which is not a function of vehicle speed. By properly timing signal light progression, millions of gallons of gasoline can be saved weekly in just the Detroit area.
The State of Michigan has enjoyed a 50% increase in revenues from gasoline sales taxes this year, yet has spent a paltry few million dollars to improve traffic flow. So the citizens of Michigan now pay twice for the failure of state, county and local traffic management to do their job; once at the pump and once again on the road.
If not, feel free to write to MDOT or your own state's department of transportation:
Gloria J. Jeff, Director
Michigan Department of Transportation
State Transportation Building
425 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909