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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-28-14, 07:40 PM   #1
GodsBassist
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It just keeps going...

While the Economy Grows, Americans Continue to Drive Less | Streetsblog USA

And this is for all the naysayers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUXJ_RP-7IA
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Old 05-28-14, 08:55 PM   #2
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Why is it dropping?... Wait till the price of gas goes to 9+$ per gallon... That should show the reason quite clearly...
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Old 05-28-14, 09:39 PM   #3
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More car talk; have the same old, same old fun.
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Old 05-28-14, 10:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
More car talk; have the same old, same old fun.
Ok, let's look at it a different way. Bike sales are up and transit trips have risen sharply every year but one so far in this century.

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/...s-cities/9059/
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Old 05-30-14, 04:36 PM   #5
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This post is the proper subject of this forum. If there are fewer cars on the road, means we are winning!
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Old 05-30-14, 05:34 PM   #6
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Here's what happening.

Americans are driving less because the growth in the economy is benefiting a very small percentage of the population. While I like StreetsSmarts, they are wrong in thinking the shift is voluntary on part of the motorist. Income inequality is the reason behind this change in behavior.
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Old 05-30-14, 06:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Here's what happening.

Americans are driving less because the growth in the economy is benefiting a very small percentage of the population. While I like StreetsSmarts, they are wrong in thinking the shift is voluntary on part of the motorist. Income inequality is the reason behind this change in behavior.
I think it is deeper than the economy. Check out the stats for the Caltrain in the Bay Area:
Caltrain ridership survey for 2014 shows younger, wealthier riders - Silicon Valley Business Journal

40% of the riders do not have a car
Average income is $117k
11% of people are riding their bike to the station (this is a stat from another article I can't find at the moment)

The Bay Area is expensive, but people making $100k can still afford a car.

But anyway, here you have it, a ton of commuters, and Caltrain is only a commuter train, weekend schedule is once and hour or worse, are not driving to work on purpose. Many are using their bikes.
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Old 05-30-14, 08:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
This post is the proper subject of this forum. If there are fewer cars on the road, means we are winning!
In the same sense that pestilence and famine will help "us" win the war on obesity.
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Old 05-30-14, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Here's what happening.

Americans are driving less because the growth in the economy is benefiting a very small percentage of the population. While I like StreetsSmarts, they are wrong in thinking the shift is voluntary on part of the motorist. Income inequality is the reason behind this change in behavior.
I think the reasons behind a reduction, in per capita and overall VMT are probably numerous and largely unknown. We've talked about them lots, but these are the ones that I can think of...

Baby boomers are retiring
Telecommuting is on the rise
The cost of driving is increasing
The cost of building more roads is becoming prohibitive
The recession, lingering or not
amazon/ebay/internet purchases
Millenials are more sensitive about the environment and really like mobile devices.
Increased age requirements for licensure
Increased population density in general.
Re-urbanization as people have looked for jobs.
Re-urbanization as hipsters have looked for hipstery things.
Induced demand for cycling and transit options as those things have expanded in cities. (if induced demand is true for cars it should be true for bike lanes also)

Some of these potential reasons are based on voluntary behavior shifts and some are just reactions to the way things are or are becoming. But they are shifting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think it is deeper than the economy. Check out the stats for the Caltrain in the Bay Area:
Caltrain ridership survey for 2014 shows younger, wealthier riders - Silicon Valley Business Journal

40% of the riders do not have a car
Average income is $117k
11% of people are riding their bike to the station (this is a stat from another article I can't find at the moment)

The Bay Area is expensive, but people making $100k can still afford a car.

But anyway, here you have it, a ton of commuters, and Caltrain is only a commuter train, weekend schedule is once and hour or worse, are not driving to work on purpose. Many are using their bikes.
I fall in this category. In my area, they are developing a Transit Oriented Development. It's really new, but it's the only reason I can live car free. Have wanted to be car-free for a long time, but cost was never the issue, opportunity was.
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Old 05-31-14, 01:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
I think the reasons behind a reduction, in per capita and overall VMT are probably numerous and largely unknown. We've talked about them lots, but these are the ones that I can think of...

Baby boomers are retiring
Telecommuting is on the rise
The cost of driving is increasing
The cost of building more roads is becoming prohibitive
The recession, lingering or not
amazon/ebay/internet purchases
Millenials are more sensitive about the environment and really like mobile devices.
Increased age requirements for licensure
Increased population density in general.
Re-urbanization as people have looked for jobs.
Re-urbanization as hipsters have looked for hipstery things.
Induced demand for cycling and transit options as those things have expanded in cities. (if induced demand is true for cars it should be true for bike lanes also)

Some of these potential reasons are based on voluntary behavior shifts and some are just reactions to the way things are or are becoming. But they are shifting.



I fall in this category. In my area, they are developing a Transit Oriented Development. It's really new, but it's the only reason I can live car free. Have wanted to be car-free for a long time, but cost was never the issue, opportunity was.
I agree with this post. There are probably many reasons for the decline in driving, but I'm pretty sure that changing preferences is one reason. People are becoming more urbanized, and cars are just not a good match for city living. They are expensive, inconvenient, slow, frustrating, and cause too many social and environmental problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
While the Economy Grows, Americans Continue to Drive Less | Streetsblog USA


And this is for all the naysayers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUXJ_RP-7IA
Thanks for sharing this article! I actually read it a few days ago and I kept it open in a browser tab. I was planning on posting it here but you beat me to it.


A few years ago, the consensus here was that "it's too soon to tell" whether the downturn in miles driven was due to the recession or was of a more enduring nature. It's still a little early, perhaps, but were seeing more evidence that the trend will be long term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think it is deeper than the economy. Check out the stats for the Caltrain in the Bay Area:
Caltrain ridership survey for 2014 shows younger, wealthier riders - Silicon Valley Business Journal


40% of the riders do not have a car
Average income is $117k
11% of people are riding their bike to the station (this is a stat from another article I can't find at the moment)


The Bay Area is expensive, but people making $100k can still afford a car.


But anyway, here you have it, a ton of commuters, and Caltrain is only a commuter train, weekend schedule is once and hour or worse, are not driving to work on purpose. Many are using their bikes.
Good points. I actually think the long (> 15 years) increase in transit trips is even more encouraging than the decline in miles driven.
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Last edited by Roody; 05-31-14 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 06-01-14, 12:57 PM   #11
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The economy might be growing but that doesn't mean peoples personal income is.

http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-U...comes-2012.pdf

95% of the wealth durng the first 3 years of economic recovery has ended up in the top 1% of earners in the united states. It's pretty simple as to why biking is increasing, people just can't afford to drive.
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