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Driving Down, Biking Up?

Published February 20, 2009

Americans are driving less and that could mean more reason for them to consider replacing car trips with bike trips.

According to data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation yesterday, Americans trend of declining driving continued into its second year. Americans drove 107.9 billion fewer miles or 3.6 percent less in 2008 compared to 2007.

Though some of that decline may be attributed to expensive fuel mid-year, the downward trend continued even as fuel prices receded. Americans traveled 3.8 billion fewer miles, or 1.6 percent less in December 2008 compared with December 2007.

Without a doubt, Americans remain attached to their cars. Nowhere is this more evident than where I live in Southern California, the epitome of car culture.

But perhaps fuel prices and environmental awareness have weakened Americans’ attachment to their vehicles. Even a slight shift in consumer mentality could be an opportunity for the industry to promote bikes for getting around town.

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