Transportation chief says Americans' travel habits are fundamentally changing.
By JOAN LOWY , Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Drivers clocked 9 billion fewer miles on the nation's roads in October even while gas prices were dropping, suggesting a downturn in driving that began a year ago is attributable to more than just energy costs.
Federal Highway Administration data released Friday show the number of miles driven dropped 3.5 percent in October compared with the same month a year ago. Between November 2007, when the driving decline began, and October, Americans drove 100 billion fewer miles. That's the largest continuous decline in driving the nation has experienced.
BAD NEWS:By STEVE BRANDT and DAVID CHANEN , Star Tribune staff writers
Minneapolis police issued a warning Wednesday after several bikers were robbed -- some at knifepoint and one with a gun -- on the popular Midtown Greenway and a connecting route.
The safety of greenway users has been a concern since before it was even built because the middle third of the 5 1/2-mile route paralleling Lake Street lies in a former railroad trench. So extra features such as 911 call kiosks, security cameras and extra lighting were installed.
But that hasn't prevented about 10 attacks in recent weeks aimed at bikers on the trails. Typically, police said, they involve several men who block the trails and take backpacks, wallets, electronics and purses, but not bikes.
The robberies prompted police to step up patrols and some riders to ride without lights to avoid detection by assailants. A grassroots, Web-connected group has organized a Saturday afternoon ride called "Take Back the Greenway."
This is particularly troublesome, as a great many of The Hub's customers rely on the Greenway on a daily basis.
The portion of the Greenway where these attack have been occurring is right next to the entrance that I personally use everyday. I've got a pretty good dialogue with my neighborhood hoodlums (bike theft in my neighborhood has always been a problem with the youngin's), so I'm going to see what I can do to to get an intervention going.
Until then be careful.
Don't travel that section alone at night, and if you must, go REALLY fast from where the path crosses 28th St. until you get to Chicago Ave., wear goggles and pack some Mace.