August 31st, 2002


an odd effect of gentrification

The night of the rental trucks is upon us. Dozens of livejournal friends and foafs are moving or have just moved, and the U-Hauls are everywhere. Only they're not. I saw some (more expensive) Ryder and Penske trucks and a couple of rather new-looking actual U-Hauls on my rather circuitous path home from a party tonight. I've seen a few more in the last day or two, plus some professional moving trucks and folks in cars and pickups with mattresses and other move-indicia in them. But it's nothing compared to years past. Ten years ago someone told me that 70% of U-Haul's national fleet spent the weekend in Boston, and it seemed plausible. Truck rental places charged by the hour what they ordinarily charge for a day, and folks counted themselves lucky to get one. This weekend I don't think I'd believe you if you told me that they'd brought in any extra trucks at all. Is it rising homeownership rates? Is it more people hiring professional movers? Is it fewer carless people, and more SUVs? Strange.