Jul 10, 2023 - News

Here's how many miles Denver households travel a year

Data: Brookings; Note: Includes all biking, walking, transit and vehicle miles; Map: Alice Feng/Axios Visuals

The average household in metro Denver and Colorado Springs traveled roughly 31,000 miles by car, bike, foot or transit in 2022, slightly above the national average of about 30,000.

Driving the news: That's according to a recent study from the Brookings Institution, which explored household travel data for the 110 largest U.S. metro areas to measure how close people are to where they work, eat, play, shop, and more, Axios Generate's Ben German writes.

Why it matters: Living close to centers of economic activity "should reduce the distances people need to travel for many of their essential trips," saving around $920 to $1,200 in annual transportation expenses, the analysts wrote.

  • Shorter trips also make non-car travel more attractive, improve quality of life, and lower environmental emissions, the study added.

Zoom in: Denver-area households within three miles of five such activity centers travel 18,431 miles less per year than those who have to travel seven miles to reach the same amenities.

  • In Colorado Springs, households within three miles of office and retail areas travel 17,623 miles less per year.

Of note: The report indicates that our travel routines have bounced back since the pandemic. In fact, Colorado Springs' annual mileage last year of 31,317 actually exceeded 2019's log of 30,341.

The bottom line: The analysts argue for "building for proximity" to lower overall trip distances and make walking and biking more feasible.

Go deeper: The many benefits of "building for proximity"


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