Bicycle sales outpaced new-car sales last year in all of the 27 member countries of the European Union, except Belgium and Luxembourg, NPR reported on October 24. One reason is that car sales have slumped in the midst of the euro-zone crisis, NPR points out. But there are signs that this slump isn’t temporary. It’s a reflection, perhaps, of a larger change in how people are travelling.
In developed economies, the numbers of cars owned and miles traveled have increased most years since the 1950s. Even before the financial crisis, that started to change. In the U.S., total miles traveled per person plateaued in 2000 and started falling in 2004. (Measured in miles per vehicle, that rate flattened in 2004 and started declining in 2007.) Today, young Americans are less interested in getting their licenses as early as possible or even at all. Meanwhile, global…
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