The graph above shows the most recent USDOT vehicle-travel data covering the last 25 years. Although vehicle-miles of travel (VMT) grew steadily during most of the twentieth century, in recent years the growth rate stopped and even declined a little. It is now about 10% below where it would have been had past trends continued.
Yet another argument against business-as-usual (read: ASPHALT as usual):
The Twentieth Century was the period of automobile ascendency, during which personal motor vehicles grew from virtually nothing to becoming the dominant travel mode in most developed countries. During this period it made sense to invest in automobile-oriented infrastructure: paved roads, highways and parking facilities. However, demographic and economic trends are changing travel demands. Aging population, rising fuel prices, increasing urbanization, increasing traffic congestion, improvements in alternative modes, changing consumer preferences, and increased health and environmental concerns are all reducing demand for automobile travel and increasing demands for travel by other modes. Although automobile travel will not disappear, it will not grow as it did in the past, and in many developed countries motor vehicle travel will be flat or negative in the future.
Read the rest at: Changing Travel Demands: Implications for Planning | Planetizen