Vehicle miles traveled

On vehicle miles traveled (VMT)

Dangerously uninformed

I've often wondered about the actuarial approach used by auto insurance companies, but I’ve never had the data or specific insight to really question it.

How the ITE overestimates traffic

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) manual for trip generation radically overestimates traffic spurred by new development, measuring "phantom trips" that never materialize.

What’s in it for me? Why placemaking matters

Why does city planning matter to people who aren’t urban designer types? Here’s an elevator pitch and a more detailed answer.

Do we need affordable housing or affordable living?

Two primary strategies will help to achieve affordable living: Reduce household transportation costs and support smaller living spaces.

Top 10 reasons for a new American Dream

For three generations, the American Dream was largely defined by continual suburban expansion. A new urban dream has emerged, and it is here to stay.

We're driving less, taking transit more. Let's invest accordingly

Because the new report is consistent with a multitude of information showing changes in living patterns and lifestyle preferences, we should shift more public resources into transit.

Automobile use dropping as population grows

Boston sees remarkable decline in automobile registrations even as the city grows faster than it has in a century.

The ‘driving boom’ is over

What does that mean for urban places, transportation, and policy?

How LEED-ND standards reduce driving and associated emissions

Development located, designed, and built to the standards of LEED for Neighborhood Development dramatically lowers rates of driving compared to average projects in the same metropolitan region.

'Peak vehicle miles' and city planning

A recent blog from Twin Cities Sidewalks highlights growing evidence that vehicle miles may have peaked. If the right policies are put in place, vehicle miles can go down even as the population and economy rises. The graph dramatically shows the historical trends of vehicle miles traveled in the US and how they have changed in recent years. Young adults, who may set the direction for generations to come, are on a steep downward trajectory. After that graph came out, the Federal Highway Administration reported that only 67 percent of 16-to-24 year olds had driver's licenses in 2011, the lowest level since statistics have been kept. For cities, where more alternative transportation options are available, the trend is potentially stronger: from 2005 to 2009, as the population of Washington, DC, grew by 15,000, car registrations in the District dropped by 15,000, according to Jeff Speck in Walkable City. This adds impetus to getting rid of policies like minimum parking requirements (why turn America into even more of a parking lot than it already is?). Let's, instead, go with the flow and spend more on walking, biking, and mass transit, and less on expanding highway capacity for cars that likely will not be there.

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