Driving and the young

MLewyn's picture


I just saw the recent study, "Transportation and the New Generation" put out by NJ PIRG, which seeks to explain why the young are driving less. 

Figure 7 contains the results of a poll asking respondents to choose between "smart growth" and "sprawl" environments.  62 percent of 18-29 year olds chose smart growth, as opposed to 54 percent of thirtysomethings and 58 percent of sixtysomethings.

Similarly, Figure 8 shows that 27 percent of 18-29 year olds think it is "very important" to have social amenities within walking distance, as opposed to 21 percent of thirtysomethings and a similar percent of sixtysomethings.

And Figure 13 shows that 46 percent of 18-34 year olds reduce their driving to protect the environment, as opposed to 42 percent of sixtysomethings - again, not a huge gap. 

The authors of the survey seem to think these results are a big deal.  I don't, given that 18-29 year olds are less likely to have children and thus to need more space.  Actually, I would have expected a bigger age difference.  (Of course, this may be actually a positive from an urbanist point of view- even if it doesn't show rousing youth support for urbanism, it also shows lots of nonyouth support!) 



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