Short Auto Trips the Norm



For our print edition this week, I wrote about the recent Livable Mid-South conference on transportation at the University of Memphis.

One of the speakers, Marianne Fowler, works with the national Rails-To-Trails Conservancy. The group is currently promoting the Active Community Transportation Act of 2010, which was introduced in Congress in March and would establish competitive funding for walking and bicycling improvements in targeted communities.

I think we all know how much we, as a nation, drive. But I thought it was interesting to hear how much of those trips are actually quite short. (And maybe even walkable or bicyclable?)

Twenty-seven percent of all automobile trips in this country are one mile or less.

Forty-eight percent are three miles or less.

"It's not our fault," Fowler says. "We live in an environment where that's almost required."

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