So, the US metropolitan areas with the largest percentage jump in commuters that bike to work are Portland, Madison, San Francisco and Denver. Now that we've gotten the "no duh" portion of the US Public Interest Research Group's (PIRG) recent study on urban driving habits out of the way, we can dig further into a report that argues that we're about nine years past the year when "peak car" happened.

The percentage of driving-age Americans with licenses is at a 30-year low.

Here's how the numbers play out. PIRG says US vehicle miles per capita reached a zenith of about 10,000 miles in 2004 and has since fallen to closer to 9,000 miles. Almost three-quarters of the largest US cities had a drop in average miles per capita. Moreover, the number of vehicles per licensed driver is down four percent since 2006, and the percentage of driving-age Americans with licenses is at a 30-year low.

Geographically, the New York City area, Washington, D.C. and Austin, TX, were the metro areas with the largest declines in private-car commenting. Biking to work is pretty much universally on the upswing, even beyond the granola-heavy areas, but more importantly, about 60 percent of US cities have seen a rise in recent years of public transit commuting. If you'd like to know more than these Peak Ca highlights, so grab yourself a cup of coffee and check out PIRG's 62-page report here and check out another definition of "Peak Car" here.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      EZEE2
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thankfully the whole world is in the USA and china and India don't exist. Yes, peak car.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I live in Melbourne Australia, a city with the world's most comprehensive public transport network in the world. Melbourne is also blessed with large wide boulevards and relatively light traffic flows. In the inner city suburbs, the government has created a generous network of bike lanes and encouraged cycling. Mostly, cyclists and other traffic have tried to co-operate and co-exist. Unhappily, as in most situations when two completely different and incompatible, dynamics are asked to share, conflicts arise. Over the past few years, motorists and pedestrians have become alarmed at the arrogant , and dangerous attitude by a minority of cyclists, who believe they are entitled to disobey the road laws with impunity, and become violent with fellow road and foot path users. Sadly, there have even been a few deaths involving pedestrians and cyclists. It's not easy, for cyclists or motorists, and I often wonder how healthy it can be cycling in the pollution caused by a busy thoroughfare.
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I hope 2wheel isn't one of these hooligans....
          EZEE2
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE2
          He seems to be in good enough shape, although maybe it would be better to see that Danish prime minister - the one Michele wasn't pleased about, in Spandex.....
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE2
          @ EZEE2 Nope, I'm sure he's a cheerful road user. The new Australian Prime Minister is a cycling enthusiast, with an alarming taste in Lycra outfits ! https://www.google.com.au/search?q=tony+abbott+cycling+tour&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=C0-uUrqeOIe1iQeRl4FY&ved=0CCsQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=614
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I put more miles on my bike riding around town than I do my car now. It is easy with the 400 miles of bike trails here, and I save a lot of money too.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        "It is easy with the 400 miles of bike trails here" That's great. Where do you live? I love riding the bike paths near my house. Unfortunately, they don't go anywhere I need them to go.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        The bike trails i've put extensive miles on in Colorado Springs and in the Salt Lake City, UT metro area don't go anywhere you'd need to go either. Can't say that they've been helpful in terms of commuting; just a pleasure to ride on since they are free from cars and proper bike lanes are mostly nonexistant..
          EZEE2
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Colorado Sorings is a silly place...
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Its just a model...
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      As biking becomes more popular, cities need to be open to the idea of delegating more road space to bikes.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      No bike trails here, we just ride in the streets like normal traffic. It's going on 20 years since I gave up my car.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's not because people are deciding to bicycle more to work. Bicycle commuter rates have been stuck at around 1% per state for a long time. Oregon has one of the highest rates, at about 2%. I would love to believe that the cause was that 1,000 of those miles were now on bicycle, but they are not. The workforce participation rate continues to slide; the young are currently taking a haitus from entering the workforce by spending their time in school, the military, or remaining living with their parents until their mid 20's.
        JB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I would partly disagree. Bike commuting is up: http://www.bikeleague.org/sites/lab.huang.radicaldesigns.org/files/League-info-BikeCommuting.pdf People are moving back to the city centers and closer to jobs. Bike share programs have exploded in 2013. I dont know what transit has done. What your saying about less people working is probably true, but people are still going to move around. It would be interesting to see the whole picture and to see what is happening to telecommuting.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JB
          What's a 48% growth over a 1% bike commuter rate? not much. So you have 148 people commuting via bike rather than 100. That's 9952 people driving instead of 10,000. I like how in that image, they highlighted very liberal, very dense metro areas... Let's see South Dakota, Idaho, Nevada, Alabama etc. People are probably not doing it out of choice either. Most likely because of poverty. I don't know anyone who is doing well who commutes by bike regularly. In California, i used to have people try to give me rides as i biked to work... lol
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JB
          While i do sound negative here, i do wish we were more like the netherlands or China or whatnot in terms of bike adoption. I'm a big advocate..
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        And in 1 year, millions of part time workers will have their hours cut, so there will be less money for them to buy gas.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE2
          Plus they'll be forced into an additional tax, or paying for health insurance that they couldn't afford already. The subsidies should help them afford the health insurance, but they'll never be able to afford the care. Gosh, i'm glad this crap didn't take effect when i was in my 20's and struggling.
      Jim McL
      • 1 Year Ago
      That bicyclist really needs to raise his seat
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