StreetLight in the News

Coronavirus has shown us a world without traffic. Can we sustain it?

By June 9, 2020 December 9th, 2020 No Comments
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Excerpt of full story written by Adie Tomer and Lara Fishbane, Brookings Institution, originally published May 1, 2020

Cars disappearing from our roads during COVID-19 have impacted climate to unprecedented levels, with U.S. Vehicle Miles Traveled falling approximately 70% in April. That brought 2020 VMT to the low levels of 1998, according to the Brookings Institute.

In this special report, Brookings uses StreetLight’s VMT data to quantify the impact of what they call “the silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic” including cleaner air, more room for outdoor recreation, and easier work commutes. 

Brookings also explores ways to sustain lower VMT levels while rebounding from the pandemic’s economic downturn.


The full article examines changes in VMT by metro area and analyzes several variables for contribution to the changes, including:

  • Percent of workers in essential industries
  • Percent of workers in high-tech and “management” industries
  • Percent of workers in public or private higher education
  • Household median income

Read the full Brookings article for more about the analysis and its results.

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