I honestly believe America's love affair with the automobile is fading. Several decades ago, most people felt a car was necessary. Now, many consider it a luxury. As the effects of Peak Oil start to dig into pockets, I am certain the average auto use will continue to decline. Heavens!, we may even stop sending our "surplus" Alaska crude to the Far East and start using it ourselves.
It's not just car use. After purchasing my property I had planned to buy the last fishing boat I would ever buy (well that was the grand scheme it was to be brand new and last till hopefully I was too old to use it) as my favorite thing in the world is to go fishing. Well it came time to buy/finance the boat and I began to look at our finances more closely and was factoring in gas prices. I decided I needed to downsize my boat plan a little for fuel economy and perhaps hold off a bit and save up some money for a larger down payment reducing my monthly payments to where I could afford to make payments and buy gas to enjoy the boat. Fast forward another year+ later and gas prices are such I have decided not to get a new or used boat with a gasoline engine at all. Instead I paid cash for a small very used skiff. The skiff now has a trolling motor and battery on it and I also have a solar charger to hook up to charge the battery. In other words I am set up for fishing without any input but the suns rays(although the river and tidal areas are out if I have to fight the strong currents). In fact the whole increase in gas price has me thinking about rebuilding the old pontoon boat I now use as a floating dock (it's titled but not registered but can be) into an all electric boat. Most likely not going to happen because as gas continues to creep up in price I will be driving shorter distances and less and less especially for non-essential trips like going somewhere to fish when I got a pond a couple hundred feet out my back door.
Location: Carnation, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)