I’ve reported many times on the trend among Millennials to delay driving. That has been a major and recurring theme in the media over the last little while, and today KSL even jumped on the bandwagon:
Getting a drivers license used to be an highly anticipated rite of passage. But more and more teenagers are waiting past the age of 16 to obtain their license and the reasons for the delay may surprise you.
Two researchers at the University of Michigan agree. They discovered a dramatic 30-year decline of young drivers. They also found that the fraction of young drivers with licenses was inversely proportional to web access.
By itself, there’s nothing especially new about these findings. But the KSL article does illustrate how this trend is occurring in communities along the Wasatch Front. And along with the many other articles on this same topic, it further suggests a declining role for cars in our communities.
That means cities and residents need to rethink the way they plan and spend. For example, streets like the one I highlighted yesterday will become increasingly unjustifiable even when housing is built up around them. More immediately, colleges like BYU and UVU will need less parking — college students are just a tad older than the teens in the article, after all — even though skeptical residents have seen years of car increases. And in general cars will have a smaller role in cities’ futures.