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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I mentioned last week that car travel in America appears to have peaked backed in 2004. Since then, "vehicle miles traveled" per person in the U.S. have been falling or flat-lining, prompting a fascinating debate over whether we're witnessing some fundamental shift in the American relationship to the car, or some economic blip instead.

Timothy J. Garceau, a Ph.D. candidate in geography at the University of Connecticut, and professors Carol Atkinson-Palombo and Norman Garrick offer a different way to think about the answer. In research they presented this week at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, they looked at travel data not at the national level, but by state instead.

Their results further challenge the argument that Americans have merely been driving less of late because of the bad economy: Washington state experienced "peak car travel" all the way back in 1992, and Nevada, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, Rhode Island and Virginia all did before the new millennium. By this measure, peak car happened in D.C. in 1996.

"The longevity of this phenomenon at the state level," the researchers write, "provides evidence that peak car travel in the U.S. is a more permanent phenomenon than previously thought."

By 2011, the last year for which they gathered data, 48 of 50 states had peaked in miles traveled per capita. The two outliers: Alabama and North Dakota, where an energy boom has made the state a national exception on many fronts.

The state data Garceau, Atkinson-Palombo and Garrick have gathered raise interesting questions about why driving patterns differ from one state to the next and how those patterns are connected to the economy. But first, a quick tour of the data.

Here are the earliest states to experience peak car, starting with Washington in 1992:

Continued:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ng-actually-began-way-earlier-than-you-think/
 

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Vehicle prices, with added Insurance, and maintenance costs......all good reasons people are choosing to drive less....isn't this what the left wants? Price people out of cars......then they raise road taxes (gas fee's ,license ect.) so high to make up for the loss of tax revenue from people driving less...it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy....Then suddenly they will propose an income redistribution plan so that the poor have access to vehicles like the rich....we can't have only the rich using our highways.....:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't read the whole article but I'd like the same criteria to be applied towards planes, trains, buses, etc. Are people really abandoning cars at this rate or all forms of travel period.
It looks like the trend more coincides with a shift towards walkable environments. For example, DC, being a highly walkable city, hit peak in the mid 90s, about the time gentrification began to take hold. At the other extreme you have Wyoming which didn't hit peak until the mid 2000s.
 

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this is a comment on the linked article
think this is a mathematical aberration from how you are choosing to look at miles driven per capita, while the "capita" is increasing. If the amount of roads isn't increasing at the same rate, travel is slower, so people choose to live closer to work, or in many case, work moves out closer to the people, such that many jobs are now in the suburbs. People could spend as much time in the car, but mileage drops. In addition, a lot of the added population is immigrants of **********,
many of whom do not have licenses or cars. Finally, our demographics are changing, with many baby boomers retiring and not putting in as many miles.

So, before we put too much stock in these stats, I would wonder why miles/capita is the best measure.
I would like to see a break down of miles driven and what purpose the trips where for IE is the reduction in COMMITTING and what about "recreational" trips IE to the park/movie house ETC
as I would expect commuter miles to drop as congestion increases and suburbs are less "trendy"
 

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It looks like the trend more coincides with a shift towards walkable environments. For example, DC, being a highly walkable city, hit peak in the mid 90s, about the time gentrification began to take hold. At the other extreme you have Wyoming which didn't hit peak until the mid 2000s.
Ehh, kind of.

People for the most part are still driving everywhere, but they're moving closer to work. Walking still sucks.
 

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Walking still sucks.
If you're fat and out of shape ;)
Walking is among the most effective physical activities extant, and American Heart Association says "it’s the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health." Fat, slim, out of shape, in shape - just about all able bodied folks can get engaged with a good walking regimen for the cost of decent gym shoes. It definitely does not suck.

My pedometer reading for the past 24 hours shows 29,151 steps. ;)
 

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Walking is among the most effective physical activities extant, and American Heart Association says "it’s the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health." Fat, slim, out of shape, in shape - just about all able bodied folks can get engaged with a good walking regimen for just the cost of decent gym shoes.

My pedometer reading for the past 24 hours shows 29,151 steps. ;)
29,151?! That's awesome!!!

I fully agree. Walking is great for you in almost every way.
 

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29,151?! That's awesome!!!

I fully agree. Walking is great for you in almost every way.
:tup::
Part of it is due to walking being one of my main modes of transportation since, well, I was able to walk. Being a student at a university whose campus encompasses 2,600 acres helps too. :D
 

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I'm driving close to 700 miles each week so yeah, whatever...
 

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:tup::
Part of it is due to walking being one of my main modes of transportation since, well, I was able to walk. Being a student at a university whose campus encompasses 2,600 acres helps too. :D
Good for you man, good for you! :worship: Keep it up!

I thought my 12,000 steps per day was good. So much for that! :fall:
 

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Good for you, but driving is far more enjoyable.

I do my walking at the lake on weekends with the dog. When I need to get somewhere for a purpose, I much prefer to drive.
Eh, I respectfully disagree.

Walking is awesome. You'll love it when you move to Michigan and explore the entire state. You can take it in much better on foot than in a car. Especially during the Summer and Fall. It's gorgeous and you really appreciate it even better when you walk the trails or stroll on the beach.
 

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Eh, I respectfully disagree.

Walking is awesome. You'll love it when you move to Michigan and explore the entire state. You can take it in much better on foot than in a car. Especially during the Summer and Fall. It's gorgeous and you really appreciate it even better when you walk the trails or stroll on the beach.
And two of Michigan's most famed destinations, Mackinac Island and Isle Royale National Park, do not allow personal motor vehicles at all. So walking (including the Nordic variety), running, bicycling, and hiking are pretty much the default methods of traversing these majestic areas.



 
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Eh, I respectfully disagree.

Walking is awesome. You'll love it when you move to Michigan and explore the entire state. You can take it in much better on foot than in a car. Especially during the Summer and Fall. It's gorgeous and you really appreciate it even better when you walk the trails or stroll on the beach.
I like exploring cities like Boston, Portland, and Chicago on foot. You can see and experience a lot in a short distance that way. You have access to every shop, restaurant, and museum without having to find a parking space.

However, when it comes to taking in nature, I've got a convertible and I'm looking for certain kinds of roads.
 

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I don't see the trend as a conscious decision to drive less, but more of a limit as to how much you even can drive. Speed limits are not going up, and there are still only 24 hours in a day.

You've got a job, and you've selected a good place live. Great. You commute for what, one hour a day? Two? At that point, are you looking to commute more? Next year make it 4 hours? I don't think anybody really wants to increase their driving time, and thus reduce your "free" time.
 

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And two of Michigan's most famed destinations, Mackinac Island and Isle Royale National Park, do not allow personal motor vehicles at all......
Mackinac Island uses horses instead of cars, so it smells awful, and would be a much better destination with cars instead.

Isle Royale essentially has no residents or businesses. It's a wilderness, why would there be cars?
 
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