Friday, November 28, 2008

Random Wanderings Through Jersey

The Eye wandered East to our New Jersey birthplace to spend Thanksgiving with relatives and came back with a few random observations:

Posted By on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 3:25 PM


The Eye wandered East to our New Jersey birthplace to spend Thanksgiving with relatives and came back with a few random observations:


The trip once again demonstrated how utterly full of crap the arguments in favor of self-serve gas are. The biggest of them, of course, is that if Oregonians allow self-serve we'll pay less for gas.

Jersey is the only state other than Oregon that forbids self-serve by law. (When New Jersey Gov. John Corzine tried to lift the ban on a limited, tentative basis this month he ran into a political buzz saw.)

So Jerseyans must be paying an arm and a leg for gas, right?

Wrong. Prices for regular are hovering around $1.70 a gallon. In Long Island, NY - practically next door - they're around $2, according to Mapquest's latest data. And New York is a self-serve state.

If anybody out there really believes self-serve would mean lower prices for consumers, I have some oceanfront real estate in Wyoming to sell you. What happens with self-serve is that the gas station owner puts one schlub inside a bulletproof cubicle to collect your money, pockets what he would have paid the pump jockeys and leaves you to wrestle with hoses and slosh gas on your shoes.

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country (more than 1,100 people per square mile, compared to about 39 for Oregon) but they've managed to preserve a surprising amount of open space. Driving through central Jersey we passed acres of cornfields, pasture and woodlands somewhat incongruously stuck out in the middle of the shopping malls and office parks.

This is thanks in part to the state's Green Acres Program, created "to achieve, in partnership with others, a system of interconnected open spaces, whose protection will preserve and enhance New Jersey's natural environment and its historic, scenic, and recreational resources for public use and enjoyment."

The Green Acres Program, it should be noted, was started in 1961 - long before Oregon's supposedly "landmark" state land use laws went into effect. Through 1995 New Jersey voters passed nine bond issues providing a total of more than $1.4 billion for the program. Ten years ago they passed a referendum to provide permanent funding.

Driving to and from our hotel and our relative's house we had to pass what appeared to be a pretty significant highway construction project. Traffic slowed in both directions (it was only a one-lane road) to creep past the workers and equipment, but it didn't come to a full stop.

If we had been in Oregon there would have been a brigade of flaggers and a pilot car, and traffic would have been backed up for five miles in both directions.

Also, incredibly, one time we saw one of the highway construction workers actually running - well, okay, trotting. You'll never see an ODOT worker doing that unless he's trying to escape from an oncoming landslide.

  • Pin It

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by The Source Staff

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home.
    • Aug 9, 2012
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors.
    • Dec 26, 2010
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general.
    • Dec 19, 2010
  • More »

© 2016 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation