More Demand for Walkable Neighborhoods as the “Driving Boom” Comes to an End

Nathen Lamb, Communications Intern

An article by Robert Steuteville from Better! Cities and Towns, recently wrote an article reviewing a newly released report from the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

The PIRG found that overall driving continues to decline in the US and that people are increasingly using mass transit, alongside active transportation like walking and biking. 

Rising transit popularity supports both transit-oriented development and the repopulation of neighborhoods with existing transit service,Steuteville writes.

Interestingly, the most pronounced trend is among young Americans aged 16-34. This group increased its transit use by 40 percent since 2001. In addition, the report also found that two thirds of polled young adults would prefer to live in a walkable neighborhood, as opposed to living in an auto-oriented subdivision. 

Oregon mirrors this trend as Sightline has shown in a recent article.

The relationship between urban form and transportation has always been symbiotic. At the same rate, trends in transportation have been and continue to be indicative of Americans’ demands.  The PIRG’s report is a tool that can be utilized by policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to ensure that Americans’ demands are met for more walkable communities and transit options. If policy makers consider those demands and make smart land use choices, we might continue to see a positive trajectory to help communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve health, and protect our environment. 

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