“…because the mayor hasn’t declared a war on cars. I doubt that anyone disagrees that we need to reduce traffic. I would call it an effort to get people to use alternative transportation.” – Mayor Vincent Gray, 20 February 2013
Okay, so I think we’ve established that there is no war on cars. But call it what you will, “efforts to get people to use alternative transportation” do seem to be working quite well, as steep declines in people using cars to get to work (lighter lines) are declining vs. people using “sweet modes” increases (from MWCOG research):
One net result is that the doom-and-gloom traffic apocalypse predictions are now no longer valid. Even if VMT resumes its 40-year upward track — an exceedingly unlikely occurrence given recent trends — the past several years of flat or declining VMT has permanently dented the total, and therefore the amount of road space needed in the future (from OSPIRG):
Driving is not coming back. It’s time to get used to it.