Support for InfrastructureUSA.org
has been provided by these organizations and individuals:

John Hennessy III,
P.E.

No, Americans Are (Still) Not Driving More

Posted by Shane Phillips on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The U.S. Department of Transportation is reporting that driving is at a six-year high, but beware the hype. As James Brasuell at Planetizen notes, these numbers are not adjusted for population and thus don’t account for the growing number of residents living in the country. As always, the better question to ask is how much the average American is driving, and the answer to that is the same as it’s been for years: less and less.

Here’s what vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) look like when adjusted for population growth, zoomed in to start in 2005 when VMT plateaued, and eventually began to fall:

Suddenly the surge in driving doesn’t look so impressive.

The DOT is reporting these numbers in order to justify President Obama’s new transportation bill, the GROW AMERICA Act, but their motivations are misguided. Although the bill is a positive step forward in the national transportation policy debate – emphasizing highway repair, transit investment, and increased local control of transportation funds – Americans should be skeptical of any suggestion that spending more money on accommodating cars will do anything to ease their commutes. We’ve been doing that for decades, and even though VMT has been stagnant and per-capita VMT has steadily and consistently declined, we’ve got virtually nothing to show for it.

View original post (BetterInstitutions.com)

About Shane Phillips
www.betterinstitutions.com
“I grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, got my driver’s license the day I turned 16, and rarely visited the city because driving in it was so unpleasant. Seven years later I moved to Seattle and realized the problem wasn’t the city, but how I chose to get around in it. I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Public Administration and Urban Planning at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and working on behalf of more sustainable, safe, healthy, economically productive cities.”

Tags: , , ,

Comment

*

Receive Infra Update, our email newsletter.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr
Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!

Views

What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.

Blog

The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.