May 2013 - There is a study by the Frontier Group on the US PIRG website called "A New Direction".
Telling us that "Millennials have new habits and a preference for a walkable lifestyle" and
that there is a  "post-Driving Boom era" coming!
  ARTBA Reveals U.S. Automobile Travel Increasing (March 2014 - American Road & Transportation Builders Association )

Mass transit usage is not booming, as backers claim ( March 2014 Washington Examiner, Wendell Cox ) since population is rising, transit trips per capita actually declined slightly between 2008 and 2013.

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.

 

 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
government forecasts.


But this is the accurate graph: Total US Vehicle-Miles Traveled (VMT) 1980-2011

Taken directly from Dept of Transportation (DOT) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2011/vm202.cfm

Clearly there is no decrease starting at 2004 as was stated in the study.
The downturn in 2007 can more evidently be attributed to the recession and...
      Since 2008 the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen from $1.85 to $3.64.

The study goes on at length to elaborate on various scenarios for the future ( all trying to justify abandoning roadway projects)
 but completely disregards the following:

One day every home will have Solar Panels and a Wind Turbine on its roof.
Battery
ENERGY DENSITY will be 10 times more than it is today.
Charging the electric car every night.
Travel by electric car will be free of fuel cost and zero polluting.
There will therefore be a lot of roadway travel.
more.....

So we must not abandon road projects that will provide for the vastly predominant future mode of travel --
                                                ELECTRIC VEHICLES

 

To US PIRG:

     There is a lot of good information you provide (outside of TRANSIT and SUSTAINABILITY ) so.....
You need to be aware of the grass-roots backlash to misguided   "SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT " that is growing throughout the nation, today. This supposed sustainable development would:

bulletherd millions into densely packed urban corridors. It won't save the planet and will make traffic even worse.
bulletTransit would increase its share of travel to a measly 4% from its current tiny 2%.
bulletUnaffordable housing could become even more unaffordable.
bulletAdditional households in the future will continue to use their cars for most trips.
bulletraise children on condominium balconies next to noisy  freeways instead of gardens.

So propaganda from the Frontier Group  with erroneous data, extrapolated to conclusions that meet  their agenda (against roadway development) can be seen as more evidence of the hype-machine that has been indoctrinating us on supposed "SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT" that does not envision the real needs for a sustainable future.

Remove this study from your website or face consequences that can only devalue the other important work you do .

   

 
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