cross posted from The Dream Antilles
It’s another sign of the End of the World. The NY Times writes the obituary for summertime teenage cruising:
For car-loving American teenagers, this is turning out to be the summer the cruising died.
Kevin Ballschmiede, 16, pined for his 1999 Dodge Ram – “my pride and joy” – the other night as he hung out in a parking lot in this town outside Chicago. Given that filling the 26-gallon tank can now cost more than $100, he had left it at home and caught a ride.
From coast to coast, American teenagers appear to be driving less this summer. Police officers who keep watch on weekend cruising zones say fewer youths are spending their time driving around in circles, with more of them hanging out in parking lots, malls or movie theaters.
The price spike in gasoline, to an average of $4.07 a gallon for regular unleaded, is so recent that government statistics do not yet capture the teenage-driving trend. But the figures show that overall demand for gasoline is dropping. In dozens of interviews, teenagers and their parents said the price of gasoline was forcing hard choices on them.