Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The anti-car movement meets reality: Millennials drive---and they shop at Walmart!

The Transport Politic














Even Streetsblog is beginning to take the bull by the tail and look facts in the face:

If generational change is altering the decisions about the way some people get around, it is not, in itself, nearly enough to alter the way a lot of people get around, and as the figures cited above suggest, the large majority of young people still use cars to get around. Importantly, we will go back to rampant increases in car use — and perhaps we already are — if we rely only on the hope that younger people will act differently and adjust our models to reflect that (The Stubborn Persistence of Car Dependence).

Yes, and the assumption that millennials are significantly different in their transportation choices than previous generations is questionable. 

Wendell Cox in New Geography:

In fact, 2010 census data indicates that people between 20 and 29 years old were less inclined to live in more urban and walkable neighborhoods than their predecessors. In 2000, 19 percent of people aged 20 to 29 lived in the core municipalities of major metropolitan areas, where transit service and walkable neighborhoods are concentrated. Only 13 percent of the increase in 20 to 29-year-old population between 2000 and 2010 was in the core municipalities. By contrast, the share of the age 20 to 29 living in the suburbs of major metropolitan areas was 45 percent, higher than the 36 percent living there in 2000.

Joel Kotkin updated that argument a few months ago:

Another huge misreading of trends relates to another key Democratic constituency, the millennial generation. Some progressives have embraced the dubious notion that millennials won’t buy cars or houses, and certainly won’t migrate to the suburbs as they marry and have families. But those notions are rapidly dissolving as millennials do all those things. They are even—horror of horrors!—shopping at Wal-Mart, and in greater percentages than older cohorts.

More reality from the site Streetsblog's story is based on:

We must do a better job developing a political argument — an ideological claim — that can support a transition away from road building and a society built around it that works not just in the aforementioned center cities but also in the suburbs of those cities and in other regions. Only with a change in the way our society is built — meaning not only the way our transportation is planned but also the way our neighborhoods are structured — will the level of automobile use actually decline, and that change requires political support. A generational change of mindset is not enough.

Right. All the anti-car movement has to do is sell the American people on an "ideology" that requires completely redesigning their society to suit cyclists and the anti-car movement because it's so uncool the way it is.

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2 Comments:

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Mark Kaepplein said...

The TP article makes an important statement about the anti-car media's disconnect from reality - that the top ten transit cities grow with more riders while the rest of the country gets more drivers:

"Given that this growth is corresponding to increased congestion on transit systems—visible to anyone who uses them—and, perhaps more importantly, that these cities are the center of American media and intellectual culture (the major East Coast regions, plus Chicago and the three biggest West Coast regions), we shouldn’t be surprised that the dominant narrative is one of a move away from cars. But the truth is that the dominant reality is actually a move toward more cars."

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, the anti-car bike fad exists mostly in a few big cities and university towns.

 

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