Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Sprawl

Wiki Wednesday: Vehicle-Miles Traveled

4:29 PM EDT on July 23, 2008

highway_vehicle_miles_traveled.gif
Until recently, VMT had been rising steeply in the U.S.

In the second installment of our serialized tour through StreetsWiki, we turn to DianaD's entry on Vehicle-Miles Traveled:

Vehicle-Miles Traveled (VMT) is the total number of miles driven by allresidential vehicles within a given time period and geographic area.

We're seeing more about VMT in the national media as rising gas prices cause people to drive less. Largely absent from the coverage -- so far -- is a discussion about intentionally reducing VMT through policy. Will that change soon? It should: A built environment where people don't rely on a car for every trip is also one where expensive gas won't put such a crimp in household budgets. Diana's wiki entry highlights one avenue to explore in particular:

Land use -- namely sprawl development -- is the main culprit. Americansare living farther from work, school, shopping and basic services. Evenin higher density areas, where amenities may be closer to home, theroad framework can be punishing for pedestrians. It is nearlyimpossible to walk in areas that cater to cars instead of people.Autocentric street design therefore forces even more cars ontoroadways, which further impedes walkers and bicyclists. The viciouscycle continues and local governments turn to the only “quick fix” thatthey seem to know: build bigger highways (at enormous taxpayer expense)to accommodate the increased traffic.

Got more to add? Any member of the Livable Streets Network can edit a StreetsWiki entry. 

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Manhattan Pol Upset at Delayed Rollout of Electrified Citi Bike Docks

"I urge the Department of Transportation and Con Edison to expedite the electrification of [Citi Bike] stations," Erik Bottcher wrote to the colossuses of conveyance and current last Friday.

February 29, 2024

On Eve of Congestion Pricing, Plate Scams at Bridge Tolls are Way Up

About 1.5 percent of the cars that passed through the MTA's bridges and tunnels in 2023 had unbillable license plates. And that number is up.

February 29, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Victory on Underhill Edition

Mayor Adams has decided to allow the agency to move forward with its plans to improve safety by finishing the Underhill Avenue bike boulevard. Plus other news.

February 29, 2024

Pols Want Covered Bike Parking at Parks, City Buildings

More parking in parks, but in a good way!

February 29, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Cycle of Rage Edition

Tuesday was a busy morning on the "criminal mischief" beat. Plus other news.

February 28, 2024
See all posts