Transportation: Registered Vehicles

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Registered Vehicles


Increasing paved roads and concurrent environmental affects

What does the number of registered vehicles include?

The number of registered vehicles includes automobile and truck registrations, but excludes registration for trailers, buses, motorcycles, dealers, transporters, public-owned passenger vehicles, mobile homes, tractor trucks, and wreckers. 


How does the number of registered vehicles affect environmental quality?

The number of registered vehicles indicates how a region’s transportation system is growing and developing.  Examining the number of registered vehicles in conjunction with population over time suggests whether an area is developing alternative modes, encouraging carpooling, or creating a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

An increase in registered vehicles indicates that a region is growing, but rather than encouraging buses, light rail, walking, or cycling, the region is content to accommodate more personal vehicles.  This implies a decrease in air quality (ozone standard exceedances have been dominated by vehicles sources), an increase in energy consumption, and the need for more paved roads (thus relating back to the environmental impacts of roads previously discussed under the sub-attribute – miles of paved roads). 

            A static number of registered vehicles implies sustainability if a region is growing rapidly.  A growing population without a corresponding increase in vehicles indicates other modes are being utilized—a sign of sustainability due to the previously mentioned aspects of air quality and energy consumption.

            A decline in vehicles is positive (with the exception of an accompanying drastic decrease in population) because it implies a break from the reliance on automobiles and trucks to a system based upon the bus, light rail, bicycle, walking, in addition to the personal vehicle. 

The impervious surface cover, most notably roads and parking lots, to service a society based upon the motor vehicle is environmentally destructive.      


How does number of registered vehicles relate to sustainability?

A decrease or stationary level of registered vehicles per capita is an indicator of an adapting region that is working to implement sustainable transport methods. 

An increase of registered vehicles or a number significantly disproportionate to population is an indicator of unsustainable development. 


How does number of registered vehicles interconnect with other indicators?

            The number of registered vehicles must be considered in relation to population, population growth rates, and density.  Human health aspects to examine are: asthma rates, due to increased pollution, and obesity rates, due to less physical activity.  Additionally, a community based around the motor vehicle limits accessibility and mobility for the elderly, young, and disabled. 


Next step?

            Examine the database of number of registered vehicles.  After the examination of number of registered vehicles proceed to examine waste.     


Number of Registered Vehicles Data



Author: Elisa Mayes