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May 2009 Traffic Volume Trends

Travel Trends (May 2009)

Based on preliminary reports from the State Highway Agencies, travel during May 2009 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by 0.1 percent (0.2 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 257.3** billion vehicle-miles.

This total includes 89.2 billion vehicle-miles on rural roads and 168.1 billion vehicle-miles on urban roads and streets.

Cumulative Travel changed by -0.8 percent (-9.9 billion vehicle miles).

The larger changes to rural and urban travel are primarily because of the expansion in urban boundaries reflected in the 2000 census. Travel estimates for 2004 and beyond will also reflect this adjustment.

Travel for the current month, the cumulative yearly total, as well as the moving 12-month total on all roads and streets is shown below. Similar totals for each year since 1984 are also included.

Travel in Millions of Vehicle Miles All Roads and Streets
Year May Year to Date Moving 12-Month
1984 151,046 669,693 1,678,363
1985 156,726 692,273 1,739,350
1986 160,459 718,443 1,800,933
1987 167,776 761,065 1,880,862
1988 178,042 803,309 1,966,572
1989 184,823 840,616 2,062,893
1990 189,247 864,210 2,130,634
1991 191,929 861,783 2,145,074
1992 196,725 894,428 2,204,858
1993 205,981 917,111 2,269,835
1994 206,594 933,949 2,313,543
1995 212,586 976,916 2,400,555
1996 218,676 988,128 2,433,987
1997 226,082 1,023,401 2,517,474
1998 227,899 1,044,079 2,581,051
1999 230,786 1,057,611 2,638,895
2000 242,501 1,105,391 2,727,239
2001 245,353 1,121,010 2,762,543
2002 251,720 1,148,421 2,822,960
2003 253,192 1,151,377 2,858,218
2004 256,863 1,194,413 2,932,712
2005 262,348 1,209,574 2,979,327
2006 263,060 1,223,547 3,003,368
2007 267,233 1,231,497 3,022,286
2008 257,135 1,200,388 2,998,682
2009 257,311 1,190,509 2,915,410

Traffic Volume Trends is a monthly report based on hourly traffic count data. These data, collected at approximately 4,000 continuous traffic counting locations nationwide, are used to determine the percent change in traffic for the current month compared to the same month in the previous year. This percent change is applied to the travel for the same month of the previous year to obtain an estimate of travel for the current month. Because of the limited sample sizes, caution should be used with theses estimates. The highway Performance Monitoring System provides more accurate information on an anual basis.

** System entries may not add up to the give "All Systems" total due to rounding on pages 2 to 8.

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Steven Jessberger
Office of Highway Policy Information
202-366-5052
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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration