In the news

CoPIRG Foundation
|
Colorado Public Radio
By
Pat Mack

Karen Rasmussen is on her way to work in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood, but instead of driving she’s walking down 17th Avenue – a change she's made since deciding to live without a car.

"It is wonderful," she says. "I spent a lot of time in traffic."

She used to drive from her Capitol Hill apartment to her job in Centennial. But then she switched to a job closer to home. Now she usually bikes or walks to work....

.....An analysis by the Colorado Public Research Interest Group of federal highway data shows Rasmussen isn't the only Coloradan driving less. Driving per person dropped 11.4 percent from 2005 to 2011. That's about 1,100 miles per year per person.

COPIRG's Danny Katz says the great post-World War II driving boom is over, fueled by 20-somethings like Rasmussen who are embracing cities as a place to live, not just work. That change means they're not driving from the suburbs to jobs in the city and back. It also means more families have only one car. That’s the case for Katz and his wife.

"Part of it is economics; we save a bunch of money," says Katz. "Part of it is health. I bike to work when weather is good enough, and that’s a good way for me to get some exercise. And if can’t bike to work, I take transit."

....Katz is happy that regional bus service is being offered. He says the Denver area is doing a pretty good job giving people alternatives to driving. But he believes that investment needs to continue for the area to remain appealing to young people.

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