News, updates, commentary and more from BikeAthens. BikeAthens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Athens, GA. BikeAthens promotes transportation and land-use policies that improve alternative modes of transportation, including pedestrian, cycling, and public transit options. The mission of our organization is to make alternative transportation a practical, convenient, and safe option for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Deep decline in driving

I'm a sucker for alliteration.

AJC relays:

It may not feel like it, but the American road is a lot more open these days.

In a year of historic changes in how we live, the federal government today is expected to announce yet another blockbuster. From November 2007 to October 2008, the U.S. saw the biggest sustained decline in miles driven in recorded history, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Never before have Americans put the brakes on automotive travel in such a decisive way. Month after month, for an entire year, drivers put fewer miles on the road than they had the year before. It was an unprecedented stretch of highway-driving decline, according to FHWA spokesman Doug Hecox. The agency has been keeping records since 1942.

Vehicles on U.S. roads clocked 100.6 billion fewer miles in the year ending in October than they had traveled the year before, according to a monthly federal report expected today.

Georgians were among those helping drive the trend. Every month, they drove less than they did in that month the previous year. In August —- traditionally a big month for vacations —- Georgians chose to stay off the road by the biggest margin of the year.

In contrast, buses, trains and HOV registries are packed.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Gena Evans is one of those people who cut down on driving.

After she and her new husband, former state Transportation Board Chairman Mike Evans, saw the rising cost to fill up his Hummer, she started riding mass transit to work in downtown Atlanta much of the time.

Gas prices encouraged the GDOT Commissioner to switch from a Hummer to public transit. No baby steps for Gena Evans!
Let's see if she takes her personal realization and packs that "ready to go" list of state transportation projects with desperately needed mass transit infrastructure (bike paths and sidewalks would be nice stocking stuffers as well).

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