Charts of the Day: More Millennial Trends

Here are three more charts from the USPIRG millennial transportation report that came out this week (mentioned yesterday)…

millennial-1 millennial-3 millennial-2


There are a whole lot of similar trends in the report, which analyzes how meaningful the low-car trend might be, and looks at some of the likely causes of the millennial shift away from driving.

The report also has some interesting advice for transportation decision makers. Here’s the punchline:

Transportation experts and policy-makers tend to view the implications of changing driving trends within the “predict and pro- vide” framework of traditional transportation planning. That is, it is assumed that demand for transportation is determined by a series of independent factors and that the job of transportation planners is to supply the optimal amount of service or capacity to meet that demand.

However, we know from decades of experience that transportation investments don’t just accommodate demand; they shape it. Numerous studies have documented that highway expansion projects usually fail to deliver anticipated reductions in congestion because they spur new development on the urban fringe and encourage people to take trips they otherwise would not have taken—an effect known as induced demand.150 The same principal applies to investments in transit, bicycling and walking infrastructure.


Cities across the country are already taking action to capitalize on the increased demand for transportation options among Millennials—expanding bicycling infra- structure, adding late-night transit service, providing access to and appropriate regulation for carsharing and ridesourcing providers, and encouraging residential development in areas where Millennials and others increasingly want to live. State and federal officials should retool transportation policies to encourage—rather than undermine—those moves toward an efficient and sustainable transportation system.

Interesting advice in light of some of the tensions between city, county, regional, and state transportation planning these days.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.