High gas prices and drive-up windows


The in basket: Gas prices have gone up sharply this year. You may have heard about it. They have generated a lot of news stories about how people are having trouble making ends meet and cutting back on their driving.

So when I drove by the Starbucks on Lund Avenue in South Kitsap at mid-day a week or so ago, I was surprised to see six cars lined up at the drive-up window. There may have been more around the corner. 

It didn’t appear that those drivers had made even a  fundamental concession to $4.30 gas.

The out basket: A couple of years ago, I raised the question of why so many people are willing to waste gas at a drive-up window, where there is no escape if you get caught behind a complicated transaction. It generated a lively discussion and brought a lot of answers, ranging from driver disability to keeping one’s kids in a controlled situation. 

With gas prices perhaps doubling since that first column, let’s take another cut at this one. Give me your thoughts on good reasons to burn up that costly petrol in a drive-through line. Either e-mail me at tvisb@wavecable.com or comment on this column on the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com. 


4 thoughts on “High gas prices and drive-up windows

  1. Because I drive a Prius, stopping at a drive-up window costs me no gas. The battery is all that operates while the car is stopped.
    Even if I didn’t have a Prius, I would continue to use drive-ups sometimes, as I often have a passenger with me who is handicapped. It can take a lot longer for both of us to go into a business.

  2. It is politicians and greenies that want to see us change our ways. Most of don’t want to change and will continue doing what we always have been doing. If people can afford to sit in drive-ups they can afford the price of gas and no one should be complaining about them.

  3. Concerned about wasting gas? Then why not synchronize the traffic lights on Highway 303 and Silverdale Way so traffic does not have to stop at every intersection?

  4. Your column made me curious about the cost of idling a car. A quick check of the internet gives a ballpark figure of about 0.5 gallons per hour of fuel consumption at idle. Using this number, idling costs 3 cents per minute when gas is $3.60 per gallon, and 4 cents per minute when gas is $4.80 per gallon. Idling a car for 5 minutes costs the driver between 15 and 20 cents. There is also an energy cost associated with restarting the engine. Another internet check, another ballpark number: restarting the car uses energy equivalent to about 2 minutes of idling. Shutting the car off for five minutes, and restarting, saves the driver three minutes of idling, or between 9 and 12 cents. Shutting off and restarting after ten minutes saves eight minutes of idling, or between 24 and 32 cents. Are these budget busting numbers? Apparently not.

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