Why We Are Measuring This
What the Data Shows

Indicator Description

Any time you take your car to the market, drop the kids off at school, or go to the movies, the number of miles traveled in your vehicle is your VMT. VMT for Boulder County is aggregated annually by the Boulder County Transportation Department. VMT includes mils traveled by public transit vehicles.

Why We are Measuring This

VMT is primarily an indicator of automobile use. The prevalence of single-occupancy vehicles is largely responsible for a wide range of unsustainable trends at the local level that also have global implications. Suburban sprawl, degradation of air quality, more and more pavement, habitat fragmentation and destruction and human health problems, not to mention global environmental change, are all negative trends that are closely related to our dependence on automobiles.

Photo by National Renewable Energy Lab

What the Data Show

VMT has steadily increased in Boulder county since 1990. From 1990 to 1996, VMT increased by almost 38%. Population and vehicle registrations both increased by 14% over the same time, which means that VMT has grown almost three times faster than the number of people and cars.

Since the car is associated with so many negative impacts and since the public is being exhorted to drive less, there must be viable transportation alternatives for people to choose from instead of driving. Future indicators should be developed which measure alternative transportation accessibility and usage in Boulder County.

Vehicle Miles Traveled,
Boulder County

Data sources: Vehicle Registrations, Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Business Barometer, Population Data, Colorado Dept. of Local Affairs

Vehicle Registrations and Population Growth, Boulder County

Table of Contents/ Overview/Boulder County at a Glance/A Vision for the Environment /
Air Quality
/Extirpated and Declining Species/Watershed Water Quality/
Water Imports from the Western Slope
/Land Annexation/Agricultural Land/
Recycling / Sources of Data

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