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More Gas Price Hike Fallout: The Good News

With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon, we're starting to see the ripple effects. First Zankou had the audacity to raise its prices to $6 and change for a meal. Then we learned the price of milk has risen by 30 percent. Now comes news that American drivers are...driving less! The horror! For the first time in 26 years, American drivers are driving fewer miles:

Miles driven in February declined 1.9% from February 2006 before rebounding slightly for a 0.3% year-over-year gain in March, data from the Federal Highway Administration show. That's in sharp contrast to the average annual growth rate of 2.7% recorded from 1980 through 2005.But gas prices aren't the only factor to blame (just a significant one). Other factors contributing to the slowdown include better public transportation (even in the suburbs), demographic shifts such as slower growth of minority and women drivers, the aging of the population, and young, upwardly mobile singles moving to cities. Take that, Kotkin!
· Drivers cut back — a 1st in 26 years [USA Today]