WHAT  IF
                                    We  Kept Our  Cars
                                  Parked  For Trips  Less
                            Than  One  Mile?
      Many of us drive our cars for short trips. We drive three blocks to work out at the local gym,
      we drop off our teenager at a friend's house in the neighborhood, or we move our car to
      park near the entrance of the next store on our list of errands. Some short car trips are
      necessary; for example, health and mobility issues might limit our ability to walk. Other
      times, driving is convenient: when we're in a hurry, if it's cold or raining, or if we have a lot
      of groceries to carry. However, some short car trips might be easily made by foot or bike.
      What if we all chose to walk or bike for just half of our car trips of under a mile?
What's the bottom line?
Car trips of under a mile add up to about 10 billion miles
per year, according to the 2009 U.S. National Household
Transportation Survey (NHTS)2. That's like the entire
population of Chicago driving to Las Vegas and back! If
we all chose to power half of these short trips with our
feet instead of petroleum, assuming an average fuel
economy of 22 mpg and an average fuel price of $2.50/
gallon, we would save about $575 million in fuel costs
and about 2 million metric tons of CO2emissions per
year. That's like taking about 400,000 cars off the road
each year. The total financial savings are even bigger -
almost $900 million dollars - when you include savings
on maintenance and tire replacement.3
GETTING OUT OF OUR
CARS FOR 1/2 OF SHORT
TRIPS COULD SAVE:
 $900 million dollars
  in driving costs per year
 2 million metric tons
  of CO2 per year (equivalent
  to taking 400, 000 cars off
  the road)
 As another example, some short car trips may be part of a much longer chain of car trips that may be difficult to substitute with walking or biking.
 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 2009 National Household Travel Survey. URL: http://nhts.ornl.gov. The
 online data extraction tool (available at http://nhts.ornl.gov/det/Extraction3.aspx) estimates 10.12 billion vehicle miles for privately owned or
 operated vehicles (POV) for trips under 1 mile.
 American Automobile Association (AAA), Your Driving Costs, 2014 Edition, Heathrow, FL, available at http://publicaffairsresources.aaa.biz/wp-
 content/uploads/2014/05/Your-Driving-Costs-2014.pdf. AAA estimates maintenance and tire replacements costs for five different car types.These
 range from 5.45 to 6.81 cents per mile. For simplicity, we assume the maintenance and tires replacement costs are 6 cents per mile.
            United States
            Environmental Protection
            Agency
       Office of Transportation and Air Quality
                  EPA-420-F-15-021
                      June 2015

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What would it

be  like?

Every household would reap
some benefits from lower
driving costs, but that's not
the only perk from keeping
our cars parked. Fewer car
trips can improve air quality.
And regular physical activity,
like walking and biking, may
help you lose weight, live
longer, boost your mood,
and reduce your risk of
heart disease, diabetes, and
certain cancers.4
       Good For Your Health
       One study found that eliminating
       car trips under five miles roundtrip
       in the urban areas of Illinois,
       Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota,
       Ohio, and Wisconsin would result
       in almost $5 billion in health
       benefits associated with improved
       air quality.5 This same study
       estimated that replacing half of
       these car trips with bike trips
       could save almost $4 billion in
       avoided deaths and  reduced
       health care costs by increasing
       physical activity.
    How would  we  get there?
    Not everyone has access to good biking and walking options, which makes it difficult for people
    to keep their cars parked for short trips. To facilitate more walking and biking, communities can
    invest in features that make these activities safe and enjoyable.
    Characteristics of a walkable community include6:

     A variety of destinations within walking distance;

     Building entries in close proximity to the sidewalk;

     Pedestrian-scale building, landscape, and street design;

     Compact developments and small, walkable blocks;

     Well-connected street networks; and
The next time you open your car
door to drive down the block, think
about getting a little fresh air instead.
Lace up your shoes or hop on a bike
to help lower emissions, improve
your health, and put more money in
your pocket.
For more information, see
epa.gov/greenvehicles
     Well-designed public spaces that contribute to a great quality of life.

    Community investments that can support biking include networks of bike
    lanes and paths, bike parking, and  bike share programs.
4  For more information, visit the CDC's website: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html.
5  Grabow, et. al., "Air Quality and Exercise-Related Health Benefits from Reduced Car Travel in the Midwestern United States", Environmental
  Health Perspectives, vol. 120, 2012. URL: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1103440/.
6  These examples are based on a factsheet from the Institute for Transportation Engineers available at http://library.ite.org/pub/e1cfab33-2354-
  d714-5173-9d760c9adc32.

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