Well, we have been seeing this trend unfold for years now. We seem to have hit peak VMT back in 2007, and have missed VMT projections from departments of transportation for many years. Up until now, that hasn’t affected anyone’s models. Instead many transportation officials have claimed that VMT would bounce back. But in Washington, they have decided to revise their projections to match new realities. More from Streetsblog USA:
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, for example, has overestimated traffic on its roads by an average of 73 percent, according to a recent study. And Dallas-area planners recently produced traffic projections that predicted a much larger increase in driving than the state DOT was even predicting. That’s why a new traffic forecast from the Washington State Office of Fiscal Management is so interesting: It actually acknowledges how travel habits are changing.
In its most recent financial forecast, the agency has abandoned the assumption of never-ending traffic growth that it employed as recently as last year. Instead, the agency has responded to recent trends, even projecting that total traffic will start to decline within the next ten years.