Adjusted for population, US driving has taken a historic downward turn, as shown in a new graph by Business Insider (see above). Total US miles driven have declined only slightly since the peak in 2007, and they are up a little this year from last. Some may view the decline as a blip in an overall upward trend, but adjusting for population gives a different picture. US drivers are now back where they were in 1995 — more than 17 years ago. We are still driving nearly 50 percent more, individually, than we were in 1971, so there are plenty of cars on the road (and the number of drivers has risen as well). But the per person driving trend begs the question — to the extend that people are driving less of late, how are they getting around? Transit ridership is near historic highs, which probably means that people are walking more as well (most transit trips begin and end with a walk, and transit service is often located in walkable places). Bicycling is also on the rise in many cities and towns. Another question: Will more transportation dollars flow to alternative modes, creating a positive feedback loop?
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