Two interesting pieces of news came out this week showing that Americans are becoming more open to car-less travel: (1) the Earth Policy Institute released a study showing that car ownership dropped by 4,000,000 vehicles in 2009 and (2) the Upper West Side of New York City will be converting 240 parking meters into bicycle racks.
During 2009, 14 million cars were scrapped while only 10 million new ones were purchased. The U.S. fleet of cars declined by 2 percent from 250 million to 246 million within the year. This marks the first time since WWII that the number of cars scrapped was greater than those purchased.
The study attributes the decline to us reaching market saturation for vehicles. There are five cars to every four Americans (even with the drop), which is more than plenty. The analysts also cite "ongoing urbanization, economic uncertainty, oil insecurity, rising gasoline prices, frustration with traffic congestion, mounting concerns about climate change, and a declining interest in cars among young people" as reasons. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we've reached "peak vehicle" and the fleet number will continue to drop?
In the other news, 40 blocks of the Upper West Side in NYC will have their old parking meters converted to bike racks. The community board voted to make the change after local businesses said they wanted the 185,000 cyclists in the city visiting their shops and restaurants. Logical and bike-friendly!
written by Chris, January 08, 2010
written by Umlud, January 08, 2010
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