This is the graph they use to make their case;
They conclude with:
"Local, state and federal governments should revisit the need for
these “legacy projects” and ensure that
proposals for new or expanded highways
are still a priority in light of recent travel trends.
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Here is what they are saying in the study:
The severe economic recession
was likely responsible for some of the
decline, but not all.
Driving started to decline before the start of the recession:
The trend toward reduced per-capita Vehicle-Miles Traveled (VMT)
began long before the recent recession.
Per capita vehicle travel peaked in 2004, while the recent recession did
not begin until the fall of 2007.
Driving and economic growth have diverged:
After moving in lock - step for decades, trends in economic
growth and growth in vehicle travel
have diverged in recent years, with
per-capita GDP generally growing
faster than per-capita vehicle travel
since the late 1990s, suggesting that
economic growth and vehicle travel
are no longer as closely correlated as
they once seemed to be.
Regardless of which scenario proves
true, the amount of driving in the
United States in 2040 is likely to
be lower than is assumed in recent