Has the U.S. Reached “Peak Car”?
Trends indicate that many Americans have recently decided to use their cars less, sell them or not buy one in the first place. Whether motivated by convenience, cost or other phenomena, Americans are driving less and traffic is easing up, a growing number of studies show.
According to the Federal Highway Administration’s “2011 Urban Congestion Trends” report, there was a 1.2 percent decline in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) last year compared with 2010. The drop follows years of stagnant growth in vehicle travel following a peak in 2007, before the economic downturn. Using government research and data collected electronically from more than 100 million U.S. vehicles, the transportation research firm INRIX found that congestion intensity has been steadily declining nearly every month from January 2010 through May 2012.