Jul 10, 2023 - News

Here's how many miles Salt Lake City households traveled in 2022

Average annual miles traveled per household, by metro area
Data: Brookings; Note: Includes all biking, walking, transit and vehicle miles; Map: Alice Feng/Axios Visuals

The average Salt Lake City metro area household traveled 31,456 miles in 2022 compared to the national average of roughly 30,000, a new study reveals.

How it works: The Brookings Institution study explores household auto, biking, mass transit and walking data for the 110 largest U.S. metros to measure how close people are to where they work, eat, play, shop and more, Axios' Ben Geman writes.

Why it matters: Living near activity centers "could lower environmental emissions, create safer streets, and unlock financial savings," researchers outlined.

  • What they're saying: "Shorter trip distances, in turn, make walking, bicycling, and transit more attractive and can improve quality of life," researchers wrote.

By the numbers: Living closer to multiple activity centers can save between $920 to $1,200 in annual transportation expenses and reduce emissions, the researchers found.

  • Yes, but: Only 37% of residents in the metro areas studied live within 3 miles of five activity centers.

Of note: Residents in the Ogden-Clearfield and Provo-Orem metro areas traveled about 3,000 to 4,000 miles more than Salt Lakers last year.

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

What we're watching: Salt Lake City leaders aim to permanently close off a section of downtown Main Street to cars.

  • The city experimented with closing the area to cars on weekends during the summers between 2020–2022 to spur foot traffic and economic activity as part of the Downtown Alliance's Open Streets initiative.

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


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