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April 2011 Traffic Volume Trends

Travel Trends (April 2011)

Based on preliminary reports from the State Highway Agencies, travel during April 2011 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by -2.4 percent (-6.1 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 250.5** billion vehicle-miles.

This total includes 81.4 billion vehicle-miles on rural roads and 169.1 billion vehicle-miles on urban roads and streets.

Cumulative Travel changed by -0.8 percent (-7.1 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 1986 are also included.

Travel in Millions of Vehicle Miles All Roads and Streets
Year April Year to Date Moving 12-Month
1986 150,277 557,984 1,797,200
1987 159,801 593,289 1,873,545
1988 166,804 625,267 1,956,306
1989 174,320 655,793 2,056,112
1990 179,033 674,963 2,126,210
1991 179,538 669,854 2,142,392
1992 186,069 697,702 2,200,062
1993 188,737 711,130 2,260,579
1994 195,407 727,355 2,312,930
1995 198,213 764,330 2,394,562
1996 205,253 769,452 2,427,897
1997 211,290 797,319 2,510,068
1998 217,921 816,180 2,579,234
1999 220,996 826,825 2,636,008
2000 227,748 863,087 2,715,721
2001 232,405 875,472 2,759,908
2002 237,246 896,568 2,816,707
2003 239,434 898,247 2,857,188
2004 250,787 937,377 2,929,352
2005 250,804 947,230 2,974,642
2006 250,604 960,393 3,002,592
2007 252,699 964,493 3,018,472
2008 252,681 959,767 3,026,398
2009 253,235 947,605 2,964,366
2010 256,640 946,304 2,976,294
2011 250,496 939,163 2,992,825

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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Daniel Jenkins
Office of Highway Policy Information
202-366-1067
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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration