1 car per home would solve traffic problems
It is a real headache driving through the streets of Oahu. Almost every day the roads are packed with cars, with everyone trying to go someplace. There are way too many automobiles on the streets and highways.
Our county has tried to reduce the number of cars on the road, to no avail. First, there is TheBus, a seemingly foolproof method of transport -- people who ride the bus save gas and bus routes go almost everywhere on the island, hence fewer cars on the road.
Although the bus is a good alternative, the tons of cars on the road congest the path that the bus travels on, so there is not much of a time difference in reaching the destination. The bus routes are also longer and people want to get to their destination without detours. Also, certain people do not like the bus because they have to share seats.
Carpools have been suggested, but few commuters carpool in Hawaii. People may have no extra space in their cars because their sons or daughters are catching a ride. Or people do not synchronize their departures for work, so they are left to either drive their own cars or take the bus.
Taxis can go to any destination, but people usually take the taxi if they do not have cars, meaning if they had a choice, they would take their own cars. Also, some people might feel taxis cost too much compared to driving their own cars.
A Department of Transportation survey in 2001 found that 91.2 percent of people used their cars to get to work, 4.9 percent used public transportation, 2.8 percent walked, and 1.1 percent used other methods. Obviously, not all of the 91.2 percent of people who drive to work have job locations miles and miles away, so far that a car would be a necessity.
There are approximately 1.2 million people in Hawaii, according to the 2000 census, in an area of only 6,471 square miles. According to the DOT, two-person households have an average of 1.98 cars, three-person households have an average of 2.31 cars, and four-person households have an average of 2.39 cars. This includes people in the household who can't or don't drive.
I have a modest proposal to solve the traffic problem: a one-car-per-household quota. I mean, just take a look at the possible benefits of such a quota. The number of cars on the road will drastically decrease. This also means fewer auto accidents. The amount of money spent fixing roads could go to other purposes, as fewer cars cause less road damage. There will be fewer teen-related accidents because the one car per household would be considered valuable, and most teens would not have access to to a car for joyriding.
People will spend less money on gas because of fewer cars, and also because public transportation will be increased. The population will not overflow because one cannot transport many kids with only one car. Getaway and crime cars could be more easily tracked down by the police because fewer cars are in the automobile database.
There might be drawbacks, such as a decline in the marriage rate, as marrying another driver would require a loss of a car. Even with the drawbacks, it is easy to see that the ends justify the means. Take a look at Bermuda, they have a one-car quota, and their life looks fantastic and clean and so very efficient.
Other methods to reduce traffic would never work. The creation of a monorail system would take up too many resources and take too long to construct. People might be afraid to ride a monorail, and they would prefer to drive their cars even if it means sitting in traffic for hours. No one would listen to encouragement for getting cars only for necessity; people want to have three cars per household just for the fun, regardless of cost or the increased traffic it causes.
Subways would take too much time and too many resources to construct, and people would still ride cars because people tend to be lazy. Heck, people even ride cars to go somewhere half a block away. I wouldn't be affected by a car quota -- I do not even have my driver's license yet.
Brian Lee is a junior at Moanalua High School.
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