Tyler Hamilton of Clean Break quotes a definition of Peak Car as being "characterized by an unprecedented deceleration in the growth of car ownership, total miles driven and annual sales." TreeHugger has been writing about this for a while, noting that Driving is so 1995.
In Europe, they are probably well past peak car. April has noted that they are selling a lot more bikes in Italy, and Tyler notes that "There has been significant growth in bicycle commuting — 47 per cent growth between 2000 and 2011. In more bike-friendly cities, growth has jumped 80 per cent."
But the Italian and most European economies are in the tank, and for most Americans, things aren't much better. Is it real change, or is it a blip due to the state of the economy? Are young people giving up cars because they really do prefer iPhones, or is it because they have crappy low paying jobs? Tyler speaks to the wonderfully named transportation analyst Phineas Baxandall:
I got the sense from the call that Baxandall doesn’t think it’s temporary, which isn’t a bad thing depending on where you sit. “It’s going to mean less pollution and oil consumption, less stress on our existing roadways, and less need for new and wider highways,” he said. But there’s bad news for some. There will be more risk for public-private toll ventures, shrinking North American auto sales, and the amount of federal tax revenue collected through gasoline sales is going to fall significantly — a combination of more efficient vehicles, electric vehicles and reduced driving. “We can no longer continue to believe there will be an increase in driving,” he added. “Policy in our country has yet to catch up to these trends and still reflect old driving assumptions.”
More at Clean Break