How can you do this in NJ?

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by NJUser, May 24, 2008.

  1. NJUser

    NJUser Member

    This will never work in New Jersey. I'll tell you right now. People are too in a rush to get anywhere and there are way too many people on the road for everyone to start driving like turtles in order to save gas. Having school buses pass you and not accelerating and not braking and taking your time? The video I saw online with the 2 guys in Toyota Prius' say we are supposed to drive our cars like a roller coaster? How is that safe? We are basically being told to drive recklessly then. Well, that doesn't happen in NJ or any over populated city or state. In Jersey, it would never fly with people here. Everyone is in too much of a rush to take their time. Nice concept if there wasn't so many people in the world but it will never happen. You'll get some that will follow it but never forget that road rage is very big here and in large cities all over the world. Is it safe to offset saving a few bucks in gas for the lives that some people will take because they want you out of the way for driving too slow? Everything in society is built and made to go faster… Cable, internet, faxes, e-mail, even CARS! the list goes on and on. Now you want people to drive like they have no where to go? HA! Good luck with that one. You want to know how to save on MPG's? How about taking the expensive ethanol out of the gasoline. It's an added expense and all it does is make your gas burn faster.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2008
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi NJUser:

    ___Welcome to CleanMPG but having just recently driven through the corner of NJ on my way into NY, I can assure you the techniques we use are even more important to you than they are for many of us traveling in other parts of the country. Might I suggest you begin considering the speed limits as the law and not a suggestion. Once you have broken through and begin to follow them as such while in the right lane, you too will realize what you are capable of no matter the vehicle you own or drive.

    ___Finally, $35 for a trip to NY was more than a few $’s as that was just one day. If you do not wish to pull in the same direction as most here do on a daily basis, by all means feel free to rant but it will not happen here as everyone here is more interested in walking the walk vs. talking the talk.

    ___Good Luck

  3. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    Wow, big chip on the shoulder. First off, you don't just drive like a turtle or any of those things you mentioned in your rant. When the light turns green we go, we just don't hit the peddle to the metal and take off in a cloud of smoke. If we see the light ahead is turning red or is red, we take our foot off the accelerator to begin coasting. We pay attention to surrounding traffic and plan our actions based upon what's going on around us. I know what my car is capable of and in an emergency I can spin my tires and get the hell out of dodge real quick. But the rest of the time I use my cruise control to maintain my speed according to the posted speed limit. This has saved me a great deal of money since my city began installing cameras to catch speeders. Something that seems to help is changing your driving music to something smooth and easy. I use to be a headbanger rocker in the 70s and 80s and loved popping in some fast rock in my Camaro as I flew down the highway. But back then gas prices were about the same as the octane. Now it's about $4 instead of $0.87 a gallon. Fun's over. If everyone in Jersey would use some of the stuff here then much of your traffic nightmares would be over. Agressive drivng is what causes many accidents and those accidents are what helps to clog up the roads. If I lived within easy access of the city bus I'd take the bus to and from work but the nearest stop is 4 miles away. Take the bus, the train, the subway, or whatever is available instead of driving. Save your driving for the weekend off then you can burn all the gas you want without hurting your pocketbook.
  4. HemiSync

    HemiSync Well-Known Member

    Wow you joined up just to rant about how something won't work that is working worldwide when people try, as can be attested to by the wide audience that this website has here and abroad. Having just driven across country in my HCH I can attest that you can drive safely & with fuel efficiency in mind in many major metropolitan areas with a little practice and a zen like attitude. Gas just hit $4.00 a gallon in my home town and it makes even more sense than ever to conserve and make the most of what we have. I get where I want to go, when I want to get there with little or no inconvenience to myself or others. As for your comments on ethanol, I can't control what they ultimately decide to put in my fuel, but I can control my driving habits & vehicles, insert serentiy prayer here.

    Anyhow, hopefully you aren't just another troll, but I really don't think there is anything we can do to change your mind as it seems to be fairly well set. So have a nice day!
  5. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    Try relaxing with some Enya, Pink Floyd, Yani, Mozart, Bach, Carpenters, etc.
  6. Jaral

    Jaral Well-Known Member

    I prefer Willie Nelson - My wife bought me a couple of his CDs and that was the first and only thing that could keep my from speeding. I still love 80s and rock and such, but I drive terribly when I listen to them in the car.
  7. TIGR

    TIGR Member

    "It would never fly," "it will never happen...." These are statements that this forum has already proved wrong.

    "Is it safe to offset saving a few bucks in gas for the lives that some people will take because they want you out of the way for driving too slow?" I find it unlikely that hypermiling is going to wind up killing more people than driving like a bat out of hell is.

    "HA! Good luck with that one." Your attitude isn't helping you make your case.

    In closing, this is about more than "saving a few bucks." There are plenty of reasons for improving fuel efficiency, from saving money to reducing dependence on foreign resources to cutting back on pollution.
  8. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    Songs not to listen to when trying to save gas:
    Rock n Roll by Led Zeplin
    Hollywood Nights by Bob Seiger
    Detroit Rock City by Kiss
    I Can't Drive 55 by Sammy Haggar
  9. Jaral

    Jaral Well-Known Member

    I thought the cant drive 55 song was by Van Halen??
  10. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    It was by Sammy Hagar before he joined Van Halen.
  11. NJUser

    NJUser Member

    Hi everyone. Thanks to all for responding. I think I may have come off a little strong in my forum and some may have taken it the wrong way which is fine. My point was New Jersey especially on the parkway and turnpike it will be basically impossible to even try this. I am a daily commuter and I see all kinds of stuff on the road. I've seen people almost get in fist fights. Example: I'm on the Garden State Parkway on my way to work. Granted I am in the fast lane and out of nowhere it comes to a complete stop. A guy stopped his car in the fast(passing) lane got out and screamed at the guy behind him because he was tailgating him. Now we were probably all doing close to 65 or 70 mph. The speed limit was 65 at them time. All lanes were jammed with traffic so it's not like there was an alternative and who would have thought someone would get out and do something like that. I have seen so many things while on the road. I have a 60 mile commute each way and could go on and on about things I've seen people do on the road. I just can't see it happening here. When I say people in NJ I am also not talking about myself being that way. I'm talking in the 3rd person I guess. I'm just going by what I see. It's just so terrible being on the roads here anymore. As for public transportation like one person mentioned...I'd Love to but where I commute to the buses will not go. I'd have to take a cab from the bus stop and then it would be cheaper to drive myself. But thank you anyway.
    Another thing also is that I see alot of these stories talking about these long distance runs like over 400 miles and stuff. I can see it working on the open road but when you have major congestion I just don't see it working. If anyone from Jersey comes in to read this forum please help me out on this one.
    If there was a way that people could find a way to do this with bumper to bumper traffic I'd love to try it. Thanks again for all your posts!
  12. Jaral

    Jaral Well-Known Member

    I have empathy for anyone fighting bumper to bumper traffic. Unless you have hybrid technology under the hood, that is murder for your fuel economy.

    Maybe try this, just to start: drive in the slow lane (whatever that is) and try to drive the same speed as the slow drivers (whatever that is). I think you will find that the hotheads will get out and around you fairly quickly. Also, hug the right side of the lane (if it is safe to do so, of course). That serves as a pretty clear signal that you have no intention of speeding up and that you want people to go ahead and pass you.

    I live in Portland, OR, which is not nearly so aggressive, but still there is a lot of highly aggressive driving here. I recently took a 6 hour trip up and down a major highway, doing 55 in a 65 and only had one tailgator during the trip. He eventually got bored of driving 55 behind me and passed.

    You don't have to be bullied into breaking speed limits or driving recklessly. Give it a try, it may not be as bad as you think!
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi NJUser:

    ___Let us look at this in another fashion and you have at least considered many of them …

    ___We promote walking, biking and public transportation before you would ever turn the key. The next item is to consider your next vehicle sooner rather than later. That means a Prius or HCH-II. On the Parkway, the Prius would be a killer vs. just about anything else. They just take off when in heavy traffic whether that be in Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Salt Lake, Seattle, Phoenix and even New York City.

    ___If none of the suggestions will work for you and your current circumstances, hypermiling will help you improve your FE no matter the conditions. The worse the conditions, the more you can save vs. just driving foolishly like most others. Remember New Jersey is no different than any of the other cities and yet there are hypermilers pulling excellent numbers in all … If you are willing to read, learn, practice and keep yourself accountable on each fillup, it doesn’t take long to see a nice increase. After a time, you might even pull numbers that will not only place a ton of $’s back in your wallet but will make us all proud for you in the process :)

    ___To the membership, excellent responses and I cannot thank you enough!

    ___Good Luck

  14. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    I live 4 miles from the nearest bus stop. If you drive in stop-n-go traffic a hybrid is the right car for you. When you come to a complete stop the engine is off. Even mild hybrids like the Saturn Aura or Chevy Malibu would be a step up for stop-n-go traffic. It takes two to fight. If the other driver gets out to fight, don't get out your vehicle.
  15. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    Having lived in NJ for quite a few years before moving northward
    and having been back through it more than once in more recent
    years, and having always been a pretty mellow driver with gentle
    accel/braking and good predictive skills in both locations, I can
    definitely say that smoothness and spacing and all the things we
    promote here work just as well in NJ as anywhere else. Think you
    got it bad down there? Try Boston traffic! Or how 'bout Atlanta,
    Dallas, LA, or even good ol' attitude-laden NYC?
    What we do works fine, and there are people who will crowd your
    butt and honk and wave certain digits no matter who you are or
    how fast you're going or whatever, they're just the typical
    self-important knuckledraggers that are all over the roads these
    days [no, I'm certainly not denying that they're out there in
    spades] but it's pretty easy to stay away from them or let them
    go around or whatever and still make your own destinations in
    timeframes you'd expect and with a lot less frustration.
    For example, if you'd been me you probably would have been over
    in the right lane and drifted right past that altercation and
    left it far behind. The "island of calm" methodology works, and
    for the most part works well. Having some yutz in a huge pickup
    right behind you until he gets around is a little scary but I
    invite you to show me any stats on people who deliberately go
    out and *hit* other cars with theirs under some supposed pretext
    of "speed enforcement".
    I'm glad you came back to respond to the responses, that tells us
    you're not one of the one-off trolls we get around here. So there
    is hope that eventually the magic will work its way in.
  16. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member


    Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top
    We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
    Lost Highway by Bon Jovi
    Ironman by Ozzy Osbourne

    and others

    we may need a thread for this ;)
  17. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    anything by DeepPurple. yup, this needs it's own thread.
  18. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    Hi NJUser, I lived in Hackettstown from '92-'97 and took I80 everyday into East Hanover, so I know what you're talking about with bumper-to-bumper traffic. I80 isn't nearly as bad as the GSP, but it was always packed.

    One of the techniques that we use here is anticipating farther ahead than most others out there. I'm sure there are spots on the GSP where it is always congested, everyday. In these places, you would want to be ready to start to coast the moment that you see that this is going to happen. One of the things that I have noticed since starting Hypermiling is that the right lane is often still moving when the passing lane(s) are lit up with brake lights. Riding in the right lane definitely takes some getting used to though. You start to anticipate the merging traffic and glide to let one of them in. You know where the merge is too heavy to stay in the far right lane and you move into the 1st passing lane until you get past it. By analyzing the traffic patterns, you figure out which lanes get jammed and which lanes tend to keep moving at different points in your commute.

    One other thing that I did was work out a flexible work schedule with my company that allowed me to work from 6am-3:30pm each day. The traffic is a little more predictable at those hours, although you still get jammed up every once in a while.

    One other thing to consider is using mapquest or another mapping tool to see if there are any alternate routes. Sometimes finding a "road less traveled", that has well-timed traffic lights can actually get you there faster or with less total miles, because fewer total miles can help also. It all about using less total fuel to get where your going, not necessarily to get the highest MPG. The NJ roads are a tough commute as well, be sometimes you can find a niche that could be worth a try.

    And lastly, but this was one of the toughest choices, we moved out of NJ because a 32 mile commute was wearing me out. I found a new job that was less take-home pay, but the ratio of my pay compared to the cost of living, between housing prices and groceries, put us way ahead. My commute now is 14.5 miles, although it was 16.3 until I did the mapquest thing and found a more direct route with decent traffic light timing.

    So even if you can only find a few things that work and they give you 5-10% decrease in your gasoline bill, isn't that worth it?

    I hope that helps and good luck,
    - Rob
  19. Shrek

    Shrek Kaizen Driver

    I manage the bumper-to-bumper traffic here in Oslo, Norway quite well, and norwegians are very un-patient drivers too.

    Number one rule: Avoid stopping
    2. Get a manual transmission car, and creep. I can creep in 2-nd gear, 10 km/h, 30 MPG just like that if you do not press the pedal, or pulse it very gently on-off at a 1-2 second rate.
    3. Allow traffic to move one car length before starting. If it stops again, stay still until it start moving again. When traffic start again, start creeping in 1-st gear until you get trapped again.
    The car is able to start and creep in 1-st without ever touching the gas pedal
    4. Take off briskly when traffic is going to move more than a few car lengths, but stop accelerating so that you glide to a stop just as the traffic stops again. This will fool the guy behind you to think you are either just like him or please him with more even traffic flow.
    5. Smart-brake/fuel-cut combination.
    If you see that you have too much speed and will get trapped by still-standing traffic ahead, brake instantly to a lower speed and select 4/5'th gear so that you enter 2000-rpm and fuel-cut. You will coast many seconds towards the stopped cars until the rpm is down to 12-1300 rpm and the engine fall out of cutoff. When properly timed, you can pull the gear to neutral clutchlessly just as you stop at the bumper of the car in front of you. No-one will complain about this maneuver, but it will buy you several seconds of low-speed, no-fuel spent coast.
    You might also enter a 1-st/2-nd gear creep if the traffic is not standing.
  20. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    Hi NJUser and welcome to the forum. You may want to start with this article to get a true understanding of all hypermiling techniques.

    Also, the good thing about these techniques is you can use as many or as few as you like. If you don't want to slow down you could still apply a few other techniques to improve your fuel economy. For example, you could air your tires up to the maximum psi indicated on the tire's sidewall; you could make sure your driving smoothly with no quick starts or stops; and you could coast when possible and safe.

    That's the great thing about hypermiling - it can save you money whether you're driving a hybrid or a Hummer.

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