GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -
According to a new study released by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, the number of miles being driven by Americans is on the decline for the eighth year in a row.
CoPIRG announced their findings Tuesday, explaining a change to the demographics of drivers may be the reason for the downward trend.
The study showed that the Millennial Generation, drove 23 percent fewer miles on average in 2009 than in 2001, which was the greatest decline in driving than any other age group.
"Young people ages 18-34 are more likely to live in urban and more walkable neighborhoods so they can walk from different places or bike or bus. They are also more prone to use alternative transportation options," said Lisa Ritland with CoPIRG.
Ritland says the research group looked over local, regional, national and federal data which indicated that the average American currently drives no more miles than they did at the end of President Clinton's first term.
"Using alternative transportation has a lot of good implications for Colorado and the United States. For one, it reduces our dependence on foreign oil, it decreases air pollution and decreases congestion," said Ritland.
Nick Sontag works at LTR Sports and has a car but more often than not, he chooses a different way to get around town.
"[I] bike most of the week and then when we want to do a long road trip down to the mountains or to the desert, we'll take the car," said Sontag.
Grand Junction resident, Taelour Wagler decided to use alternative transportation once her car broke down, and hasn't changed her mind since.
"As far as travel time, I haven't noticed any difference in everywhere that I have to go in town. With minimizing the times I have to stop at stop lights, or waiting on traffic, or finding parking, the time I take to ride my bike was the same as when I was driving," said Wagler.
Officials with CoPIRG said they hope the study will encourage local leaders to support alternative transportation projects.
"Adding additional bike lanes or different ways to get around throughout the city, like using easement ways, would make getting around Junction on a bike even easier," said Sontag.Click here
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