Putting the driving increase "in perspective"
Driving those devilish motor vehicles is increasing in the US again. The folks at Streetsblog are desperately trying to spin the reality shown in the graph above:
Phineas Baxandall, a researcher with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, says the increase needs to be put in perspective: This doesn’t look like a return to historical driving trends. Prior to about 2005, traffic rose at a fairly steady rate, with some fluctuation around recessions. But this latest increase doesn’t signal a return to that path of constant growth — the kind that has been continually used to justify highway projects.
Yes, just because people are driving more than ever, why should they need highways?
When this story was posted on SF Streetsblog, it got no comments from its apparently disheartened readers.
The Great Recession is the only thing that slowed this "historical driving trend" down.
And it's an international trend.
Streetsblog has always had a hard time dealing with transportation reality. Their story on how the Chinese are giving up their bikes and buying cars caused some gloom in Anti-Car Land.
They like to talk about transportation choices, but when people choose cars the "perspective" spin is frantic.
Also see The Antiplanner on the subject.