Longest Record of Conservation in U.S. History?
The Federal Highway Administration reported that travel during July 2008 on all roads and streets in the nation fell by -3.6% compared to July last year. June marks the ninth consecutive month of traffic volume decline compared to the same month in the previous year. Travel YTD through July in 2008 fell by -3.0% compared to 2007.
There was never more than a single monthly decline in traffic volume (vs. the same month a year ago) until 2006, a few examples of two consecutive monthly declines 2006 and early 2007, but never in the history of these data was there ever a period of more than a 2-month consecutive decline until recently, and therefore the 9 consecutive monthly decline (November 2007 through July 2008) in miles driven is a record, and represents the most significant adjustment to driving behavior in recent history.
On a moving 12-month total basis, traffic volume in July fell to a four-year low of 2.944 trillion miles, the lowest level since July of 2004 (see chart above), and this measure has fallen in each of the last nine months.