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March 2011 Traffic Volume Trends

Travel Trends (March 2011)

Based on preliminary reports from the State Highway Agencies, travel during March 2011 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by -1.4 percent (-3.5 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 250.4** billion vehicle-miles.

This total includes 80.7 billion vehicle-miles on rural roads and 169.7 billion vehicle-miles on urban roads and streets.

Cumulative Travel changed by -0.1 percent (-0.8 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 March Year to Date Moving 12-Month
1986 151,183 407,707 1,794,558
1987 157,573 433,488 1,864,021
1988 167,836 458,463 1,949,303
1989 174,990 481,473 2,048,595
1990 178,771 495,930 2,121,497
1991 179,076 490,316 2,141,887
1992 183,778 511,634 2,193,532
1993 187,869 522,393 2,257,911
1994 196,190 531,948 2,306,260
1995 201,227 566,118 2,391,757
1996 204,172 564,198 2,420,856
1997 211,952 586,028 2,504,031
1998 214,222 598,259 2,572,603
1999 220,763 605,830 2,632,934
2000 232,542 635,339 2,708,968
2001 232,024 643,067 2,755,251
2002 235,643 659,322 2,811,867
2003 236,287 658,813 2,855,000
2004 250,582 686,590 2,917,998
2005 252,402 696,426 2,974,625
2006 255,829 709,788 3,002,793
2007 258,930 711,795 3,016,377
2008 252,030 707,086 3,026,415
2009 248,356 694,370 2,963,812
2010 253,868 689,668 2,972,893
2011 250,396 688,902 2,999,204

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