Just two more dollars to go. The news cycle is asquawk with dire warnings of $4 a gallon gasoline here in the U.S., and I’m wringing my hands with sinister, Dr. Evil, glee. $6 gas….getting closer, plans for world domination coming to fruition. Must serenely start petting hairless cat while chuckling somewhat psychotically. Ba-whaa–haa–haa! Or however you correctly spell the evil version of the exclamatory expression “Aha!”.
Yes, I know that more expensive gasoline puts the biggest strain on families who can afford it least. Yes, I know that more expensive gasoline has negative impacts on our carbon-based fuel economy. Yes, I know that even $6 gas won’t immediately lead to the necessary lifestyle changes to address global warming concerns.
Yeah, I know all that, but I don’t care. I want $6 a gallon gasoline, at the Diamond-Shamrock right down the street. I want to see SUVs and overly large pickup truck drivers paying more for a fill-up than for their car payment. I want frenzied Americans knocking each other through plate glass windows at Prius dealerships like they were buying tickets to a Led Zeppelin concert instead of a dorky little car that just happens to get 60mpg, city.
I want ABQ Ride buses filled to overflowing. I want buses with people hanging off the busroof, Guatemala-style, because they can’t all fit inside the bus. Then I want more bus routes, running more often, so often that they same route buses butt up against each other during rush hour. I want rush hour to end. I want Central Avenue to become a pedestrian mall, with pansies planted where the lane markers used to be. Then I want Paseo del Norte to become a pedestrian mall, if for no other reason than I will be able to stop hearing all the news stories in which rich Northern Burqueans bitch and moan about how bad the traffic is on Paseo del Norte.
I want Rail Runner tickets to become as desirable as Led Zeppelin tickets, circa 1973. I want Rail Runner lines to expand East & West, the tracks constructed by a workforce of teachers and students on summer vacation. I want to be one of these workers, wearing Mao-influenced socialist work clothing. Okay, I don’t want either to be on the workforce or wear the socialist garb. The workforce is gonna have to come from prisoners, or unemployed and soon-to-be-imprisoned sub-prime mortgage lenders. I’m okay with the student workforce, by the way. In fact, I have a number of current students I would like to see inducted in the program as soon as possible.
Whoever is building it, I want a ABQ subway. I want a big contest to design the logo for the subway, and a uber-modern design team to choose the graphical representation of the subway lines, and the color of those lines. I want to personally dig up Rio Bravo Boulevard with an 19th century pick-axe down to a depth of 40 feet for a new subway line. I want the Diamond Shamrock at Rio Bravo and Isleta to become a subway station, with long escalators running 40 feet down from its gas pumps to a pleasantly cool, somewhat funky-smelling subway platform below.
Don’t even ask my what I want to happen to 18-wheelers (aka semis). It involves explosions, truck cabs impaled on pikes and paraded around the city, and other violence. At the same time, I am looking forward to a post-violence period in which 18-wheeler truck bodies (whatever they are really called) are turned into fantastically large garden planters, growing CO2 sucking plants where soon-to-be-killed methane emitting cattle once temporarily habitated.
Then there’s the continuous row of giant electric-generated wind turbines along the West Mesa running from Rio Rancho to Los Lunas, the possible nuclear power plant in downtown Grants and other details, but those can be argued down the road.
First, we gotta have $6 a gallon gasoline. Then after the advertised economic apocalypse, the cataclysmic lifestyle changes resulting in people being reduced to getting their “car fix” by sitting in their garage, hands on the steering wheel making “vroom, vroom” noises to simulate actual driving, and the nationalization of all energy companies in the U.S, only then can we start really kicking this carbon monkey on our backs, switching from the heroin of gas to the methadone of public transit, alternative energy and pansies planted along crumbling asphalt.
Two dollars to go. Ba-whaa–haa–haa!