National Highway Travel Forecasts

by Gary E. Maring, (M.ASCE), Highway Engr.; Office of Highway Planning, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 4, Pg. 759-777

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper is based on the results of a Federal Highway Administration study to reevaluate national highway travel forecasts in light of such factors as declining birth rates, possible saturation of vehicle ownership, and fuel constraints. Results indicate that highway travel is expected to increase at an annual compound rate of 2%/yr - 3%/yr to 1990 as compared to an average annual growth of 4.6% for the last 20 yr. The travel projections are based on anticipated increases in population, licensed drivers, vehicles, and personal income. Even with fairly severe constraints on fuel the travel projections appear reasonable, assuming continued increases in the fuel efficiency of the vehicle fleet using presently available technology. Although this was a national assessment, review and application of these analyses at the state and local level are encouraged.

Subject Headings: Energy efficiency | Highways and roads | Forecasting | Energy consumption | Federal government | Light (artificial) | Fuels | Population projection

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