Vehicle Travel

August 27, 2016, 9am PDT
U.S. vehicle travel increased 3.2% (8.6 billion vehicle miles) in total and 2.0% per capita between Junes 2015 and 2016. That is a new peak in total VMT, but a 2.75% reduction in per capita VMT. Will these growth rates continue into the future?
Peak Car Revisited
January 8, 2015, 7am PST
The Federal Highway Administration has quietly acknowledged the end of the Driving Boom, cutting its VMT forecast by 24-44 percent. This represents a major change in travel forecasting and planning.
U.S. Pirg
October 16, 2014, 5am PDT
A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Frontier Group shows mounting evidence that the Millennial generation’s dramatic shift away from driving is more than temporary. Planning must change to accommodate these demands.
Millennials in Motion: Changing Travel Habits of Young Americans and the Implications for Public Policy
Blog post
June 9, 2011, 6am PDT

Note: This column was originally titled, "A Stupid Attack on Smart Growth," intended as a pun on 'smart' and 'stupid.' However, that sounds harsh so I retitled it. - T.L.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has a well-financed campaign to discourage communities from considering smart growth as a possible way to conserve energy and reduce pollution emissions. They contend that compact development has little effect on travel activity and so provides minimal benefits. The NAHB states that, “The existing body of research demonstrates no clear link between residential land use and GHG emissions.” But their research actually found the opposite: it indicates that smart growth policies can have significant impacts on travel activity and emissions.

Todd Litman