Bicyclist, joggers and walkers enjoy car-free streets as part of New York City’s Summer Streets program. (Shutterstock)
For years, many cities have pushed their residents to adopt car-free lifestyles. Doing so can help limit further traffic congestion and pollution, while also saving people money and improving their physical fitness.
By and large, though, the vast majority of Americans aren’t ready to ditch their vehicles. According to the latest Census Bureau estimates, only 8.7 percent of U.S. households reported not having any vehicles available last year. That’s actually down slightly from a year ago and is at about the same level as before the Great Recession.
A stronger economy explains, in part, the small decline in car-free households. Demographics, fuel prices and where people live — more Americans are migrating from cities to less dense suburbs — also play a role in whether a household goes car-free.