trends

VMT moderates after recession-driven swings

By Eric Sundquist U.S. vehicle-miles traveled (VMT), which had declined during the recession and then spiked, returned to a more normal level in 2018. According to FHWA’s Travel Monitoring Trends data, total VMT grew by 0.4 percent in 2018. That rate was slower than population growth, resulting

Back to the new normal? Post-recession VMT uptick wanes

By Eric Sundquist In the second half of the 20th century, as the nation rapidly suburbanized, it was pretty easy to predict how much driving Americans would do. United States vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) rose steadily year-by-year, with only temporary blips around fuel shortages or recessions. In

Travel time peaked in the 1990s, new research shows

By Chris McCahill Americans spent more than 10 hours per week traveling in the early 1990s—the highest amount in two decades—but that number has since dropped below 1975 levels to less than 8.5 hours, according to a new study published in Transportation Research Part A. The resulting travel

Cities and developers are preparing for a world with less parking

By Robert Benner Chandler, AZ, may be the first city to recognize that apartment dwellers will need less parking in the future. In anticipation of autonomous vehicles, the city is changing its zoning code to loosen parking minimums in new buildings. Developers welcome such flexibility, as

Millennials are driving more, but only those making the least money

By Chris McCahill The new 2017 National Household Travel Survey gives us our first look at changing travel habits since the recession. From what we can tell, the average American drives less in 2017 than eight years earlier. Driving also seems to have increased considerably among

Household car travel dropping steadily

Update: Our original post noted a major decrease in household vehicle miles traveled from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey to the 2017 survey. Due to methodological changes from year-to-year, we’re looking deeper into the new data to validate any apparent trends in travel

VMT growth continued, slowed in 2016

By Chris McCahill The total number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the U.S. grew by 2.8 percent to 3.2 trillion in 2016, according to monthly estimates from USDOT. This marks the third year of notable growth following nine years of historical lows, but still shows slower growth than in the

Urban truck traffic growing far faster than urban population growth

By Bill Holloway Urban truck traffic has boomed alongside the rise in e-commerce. As shown in a recent Brookings Institution blog post, while both urban truck and passenger VMT have been growing faster than urban populations since the 1960s, urban truck traffic diverged from urban car travel in

Young adults want walkable, transit-accessible neighborhoods, say Realtors

By Chris McCahill The National Association of Realtors, in collaboration with researchers from Portland State University, just released the results of their 2015 Community Preference Survey. The survey reinforces other reports that younger generations are driving less and prefer communities with

Compact, connected development patterns on the rise since mid-1990s

By Chris McCahill Low density, disconnected development patterns—or sprawl—peaked in the mid-1990s, then declined by as much as 9 percent in the following decades, according to a new analysis of street patterns published by the National Academy of Sciences. Because of its innovative