A drop in traffic on local highways indicates a change of habits in the metro area -- and could lead to a changes for infrastructure planners.
Before beginning a $2.5 billion project to widen the New Jersey Turnpike, turnpike officials said the construction was necessary to reduce existing congestion and to cope with future traffic.
"Turnpike traffic is on the rise," the state Turnpike Authority said in its justification for the project. "By 2032 northbound traffic volume is expected to increase by nearly 68 percent [above 2005 levels]; southbound traffic is forecasted to increase by 92 percent."
Now, one-third of the way through that 27-year forecast, turnpike traffic is actually about 10 percent lower than it was in 2005...
Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
"The millennials are really changing the world dramatically," Hughes said. "We have a younger generation that is driving less and doesn't want to live in Valley Forge. They want to live in Center City Philadelphia."
"We had a 50-year period of unrestricted suburbanization, and now there's a dramatic shift."
Cars and driving are less important to young adults, who find that trains and buses allow them to work and socialize on mobile electronic devices, he said. That may mean fewer cars on future roads.
"Nobody was really anticipating this," Hughes said. "The models have to be recalibrated."
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