Driving On and On

According to a recent report from the Federal Highway Administration, Americans drove more than three trillion miles in 2006 (the most recent year statistics were available). However, this is not a number to celebrate, as what it most likely shows is “an indicator of overall traffic congestion nationally.

This is the highest figure ever recorded for the nation and represents the 27th consecutive increase in surface transportation. The numbers are roughly double the total mileage traveled in 1980 and more than four times the total mileage traveled in 1957.

It’s obvious that there are more people and therefore more cars in the nation right now. However, the amount of miles that people are driving is still staggering. I wonder how the numbers compare to the DC metro area. I also wonder whether or not cities that have a long commute and more traffic contribute to more mileage, especially compared to a rural area with more miles to cover, but less traffic congestion?

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