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Economy

Driving down nearly 7% in Michigan

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Advocates say Michigan policymakers should wake up to the fact that residents are driving less and start focusing on public transit and biking alternatives.

Per-person driving miles in Michigan are down nearly 7% since 2005. It's a trend occurring across the U.S.

Some researchers say the changes are mostly a reflection of the economy and driving could bounce back. Others say the decline in driving reflects fundamental changes in the way Americans view the automobile.

The PIRGIM Education Fund, a consumer group, released a report last week saying now's the time to spend more on public transit and other non-driving modes of transportation in Michigan. Some advocates question why the state spends so much on highway construction.

But others say Michigan highways are deteriorating and need maintenance.

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