The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) recently released an interesting report“Transportation and the New Generation: Why Young People Are Driving Less and WhatIt Means for Transportation Policy” that studies what appears to be a shift in automobile consumer behavior by those traditionally most intent to drive – 16- to 34-year-olds. From the report:
By 2011, the average American was driving 6 percent fewer miles per year than in 2004.
The trend away from driving has been led by young people.
From 2001 to 2009, the average annual number of vehicle-miles traveled by young people (16- to 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita – a drop of 23 percent.
The report also provides remarks on the future of federal transportation policy:
Policy-makers and the public need to be aware that America’s current transportation policy – dominated by road building – is fundamentally out-of-step with the transportation patterns and expressed preferences of growing numbers of Americans.
This trend is relevant to Center City, considering the area holds twice the national average of residents ages 25-34 and 38% of residents already walk to work. As more young people move to Center City, new residential development is inevitable, and like the federal transportation policy, Philly’s zoning code must be in step with consumer demands. Unfortunately, as it stands today, this is not entirely the case.