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?
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.
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.
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:
More pics of Port Mann from The Province here.