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Auto Usage Breakdown By Purpose Of Trip
Americans spend a great deal of time in their cars. In fact, family resources in most cities are not accessible except by motorized transport. MCs will help solve our super-dependence on cars and our air pollution problems and aid people’s financial problems as well since gas isn't cheap! By bringing people into proximity, most social visits and childcare will be a few steps away, and recreation will often occur right in the neighborhood.
In MCs, recreation will often occur right in the neighborhood, so automobiles aren't needed
Twice as many suburban residents now commute to work in the suburbs as go to jobs downtown. During the 1980s, suburban and rural areas experienced a much larger increase in freeway congestion than central-city areas. Despite all the urgent calls for car pooling in recent years, in 2009, 76.1 percent of all U.S. commuters drove alone to work every day.
Suburbia will never be the same once the MC movement begins—see MC drawings
Other factors that exacerbate the problem: the work force, between 1950 and 1986, increased from 59 million to 109.6 million, an increase of 86 percent. In 2013, the work force numbered 155.7 million, a 42% increase from 1986. Add to this the fact that the use of public transportation decreased by about 50 percent from 1950, which by 2009 is down to 5%. This is a longstanding issue, since the public transportation usage rate was only 6% in 1960, due to the explosion of car buying in the 50s. I.e., this is not a good public transportation usage rate, and it hasn’t changed much in 53 years. This trend is reflected in the growth of multiple car ownership. In 1960, only 15 percent of U.S. households had two or more vehicles. In 1980, the figure was 52 percent. ("Gridlock in Suburbia," Editorial Research Reports, June 3, 1988) In 2008, Americans own 2.28 vehicles per household. (Source: Study Finds Americans Own 2.28 Vehicles Per Household, 2008, autospies.com.)
In 2009, 76.1 percent of all U.S. commuters drove alone to work every day
The increasing number of working mothers and two-income families contributes to this trend: for them, the mobility and carrying capacity of a car is often perceived as essential. Working parents often take "triangular trips," picking up a child from day care on the way home from work, and perhaps stopping at a grocery store before heading home. These extended trips keep them on the road longer during rush hour.
Working parents often take 'triangular trips,' picking up a child from daycare on the way home from work
More cars + more people. The perfect formula for traffic congestion. Congestion is increasing on freeways, and on nonfreeways. “Congestion is the worst it has ever been. Statistics tell an alarming story: Americans spend 14.5 million hours every day stuck in traffic, trying to commute or move goods to market.” And it cannot be cured by more roads or public transportation. Any gains made by these type of fixes will be outpaced by enormous increases in traffic volume.
“Other statistics are just as damning. Consider that since 1970: The U.S. population has grown by 32 percent, while the number of licensed drivers has grown by 64 percent, the number of registered vehicles has grown by 90 percent, and the vehicle miles traveled has grown by 131 percent. However, total number of road miles has grown by only 6 percent.” (Source: The Costs of Highway Congestion, 2013, ABC News.)
In Southern California the average travel speed was 33 mph in the late 80s, and it was expected to drop to 15 mph by 2000, which it did in some areas. In 1987 there were 138 million privately owned cars on the road, which is more than one car for every two Americans. In 1950 there was only one car for every four Americans.
The past: the numbers in 1945 were 31 million cars; 1965, 89 million. The number of miles driven between 1945 and 1965 more than tripled from 250 million in 1945 to 888 million in 1965. The highway death toll was 28,000 in 1945 and 49,000 in 1965. However, by 1985 fatalities dropped to 46,000—impressive, given the increase in number of vehicles. There were 247,421,120 cars on the road in the US in 2005, and 32,788 fatalities in 2010, despite so many more drivers and cars. And the number and rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to the lowest levels since 1949, despite a significant increase in the number of miles Americans drove during the year, drunk drivers on the road, road rage, and people using cell phones or other devices while driving. Curiouser and curiouser . . .
Great way to die: driving while talking on cell phone
Average Commute Travel Time (minutes) in 1977 was 19.23, but it has grown to 23.85 in 2009. Compared to 2001, in 2009 Americans of all ages spent up to 9 minutes less time on an average day in a private vehicle. The average amount of time spent in a vehicle (as a driver or passenger) was about an hour overall but varied greatly by an individual’s age. (Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 2009 National Household Travel Survey. URL: http://nhts.ornl.gov)
See also: Auto Usage Breakdown By Purpose Of Trip