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Evidence of Declining Traffic from All Over

December 4, 2012

In the comments on “Circling the Square,” Roger asks me:

… as a NPA councilor/alderman of some fifteen years, culminating in the early 2000’s, you spent a lot of time away from your seat at TX conferences all over the continent (world?).  That was over ten years ago.  Why have your efforts not born fruit on the ground?

Well, gee:

Traffic 1

Traffic 2

The charts are in this report.  And according to this data, we’re down to 1965 traffic levels coming on and off the downtown peninsula.

Hardly all my doing, of course, nor even a phenomenon unique to Vancouver – as a couple of emails that came into today illustrate:

Eric Britton at World Streets asks: Are cars on the way out?

Along with a growing group of academics and transport planners, we’ve been questioning the validity of current Government transport and traffic forecasts for some time.

This chart produced by Professor Phil Goodwin from the University of the West of England illustrates best how forecasts from the past 22 years have failed to predict the actual number of miles driven in cars by people in England. And the inaccuracy has always been one way – massively overestimating the amount of driving people will do.

uk-car-traffic-growth-forecasts

The years since 2008 have seen car traffic across the UK actually decline by around 2.5%, raising even more questions about forecasting, such as how and whether traffic will increase again when economic problems start to be resolved.

Vancouver has been consistently beating expectations on the likely decline of vehicle traffic, as noted in this post.

.

Back in America, today at Better! Cities & Towns, Robert Steuteville posts:

Adjusted for population, US driving has taken a historic downward turn, as shown in a new graph by Business Insider (see below). …

Some may view the decline as a blip in an overall upward trend, but adjusting for population gives a different picture. US drivers are now back where they were in 1995 — more than 17 years ago.

driving-graph

Another question: Will more transportation dollars flow to alternative modes, creating a positive feedback loop?

Good question for metropolitan Vancouver too – where, so far, the answer has been ‘nope.’  We’re putting our money in Motordom:

Port Mann

More pics of Port Mann from The Province here.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2012 1:45 pm

    Good stuff Gordon . . . hope you had some influence . . . thanqxz R

  2. David permalink
    December 6, 2012 3:11 pm

    “It has become a platitude to say that the street problems of today have become
    enormously intensified by the invention and use of the automobile”

    — Harland Bartholomew 1926

    “Vancouver has reached the point where automatic control lights at important intersections are required. Pedestrians should be required to obey the traffic signals as well as vehicles.”

    The Bartholomew plan also proposed removing the CPR level crossings. Dunsmuir Tunnel was built within 10 years. Powell Street Viaduct may take longer. http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/powell-street-fact-sheet-2012.pdf

  3. Matt permalink
    December 10, 2012 2:22 pm

    The left hates cars because cars represent individual freedom. With an automobile we may travel where we want, when we want with very few restrictions.

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  1. Where Are My Cars, My Good Chap? | Sightline Daily

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