peak car
n. A time when the use of cars reaches a maximum, after which it steadily declines due to increased costs, convenient alternatives, and improved urban walkability.

Example Citations:
Has the United States passed peak car? It’s one of the more tantalizing questions that energy and urban-planning nerds are pondering these days. Ever since the recession, Americans have been driving less, getting fewer licenses, and using less gas. But is that just the work of the recession, or something more permanent?
—Jordan Weissmann, “Crash: The Decline of U.S. Driving in 6 Charts,” The Atlantic, November 15, 2013

Yet a growing number of planners and transportation wonks believe the wave has crested and that, in the developed world at least, we have reached what they call “peak car.” In many places, they note, vehicle miles traveled per person have declined steadily in recent years.
—Drake Bennett, “Peak Car‘ and the Beginning of the End of the Commute,” Businessweek, November 13, 2013

Earliest Citation:
Some believe if we accept the notion of “peak oil”, then we should also accept there’ll be a moment of “peak car”.

“I reckon we’re at peak car now,” John Cox says.
—Deirdre Macken, “How cars drive property prices,” Australian Financial Review, May 24, 2008

Notes:

Related Words:

Categories: