Despite Driving Decline, U.S. Builds for Far More Cars
"After decades of steady growth, U.S. driving rates have stagnated and even fallen. Per capita driving is as low as it was in 1996. And yet, federal and state government estimates continue to predict inexorable growth, relentlessly building expensive new highways for drivers who might not materialize," writes Tanya Snyder.
"A groundbreaking new study from U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group shows that any of three likely scenarios for future U.S. driving trends show far lower vehicle miles traveled than any of the principal current government estimates. That creates a disconnect between the kinds of transportation Americans are choosing with their feet and the kinds of transportation the system is designing for them."
"The impact of all this unrealistic forecasting is that states are going into debt to lay asphalt no one wants to drive on," she explains. "Toll roads, which are increasingly popular with states because they provide a revenue source to pay private investors back, are falling far short of projected use all over the country."