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May 2011 Traffic Volume Trends

Travel Trends (May 2011)

Based on preliminary reports from the State Highway Agencies, travel during May 2011 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by -1.9 percent (-5.0 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 254.0** billion vehicle-miles.

This total includes 84.7 billion vehicle-miles on rural roads and 169.3 billion vehicle-miles on urban roads and streets.

Cumulative Travel changed by -1.0 percent (-11.7 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 May Year to Date Moving 12-Month
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 242,557 1,105,644 2,727,492
2001 245,089 1,120,562 2,762,440
2002 251,219 1,147,787 2,822,836
2003 252,724 1,150,971 2,858,693
2004 256,235 1,193,611 2,932,863
2005 261,748 1,208,978 2,980,155
2006 262,444 1,222,837 3,003,289
2007 266,715 1,231,208 3,022,742
2008 260,983 1,220,750 3,020,666
2009 259,487 1,207,092 2,962,870
2010 258,991 1,205,295 2,975,798
2011 254,029 1,193,569 2,988,239

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