Driving in Harrisburg drops sharply compared to rest of nation

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Dec 31, 2013 10:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- More people have cut back on driving in Harrisburg since 2006, according to a recent survey.

The decrease was one of the steepest in the nation.

The report from the US Public Interest Group, finds the average Harrisburg resident cut their driving by nearly 15 percent between 2006 and 2011.

That's the fourth highest drop in the nation among urban areas.

"Young people have definitely shown the steepest reductions in driving. Americans about 16 to 34 years of age reduced their average driving miles by 23% between 2001 and 2009," says Ashley Afranie-Sakyi, director for Pennsylvania PIRG.

Afranie Sakyi says the survey shows lawmakers need to start adjusting transportation spending to account for the changes in habits.

"People don't want wider highways. That's not what's going to be the best option when it comes to transportation."

"People want bike lanes, people want bike shares, they want investment in public transportation. And that's good, but there's always more that we can do to continue to make sure that we're bolstering the systems that people actually use."

Only New Orleans, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin saw a steeper drop in miles driven per capita in the survey.

US PIRG is an interest group that represents consumers.

They say this is the first survey of its kind in the nation.

It also shows that in 99 of the top 100 urban areas in the country, more people are getting to work using public transportation, bikes or other ways.

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