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Wisconsin DOT says driving statewide has gone up

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - If you think Wisconsinites don't love their cars anymore, you might be wrong as new state figures show that driving's on the upswing.

The DOT estimates that motorists drove 59.5 billion miles in the Badger State last year -- about 400 million more miles than in 2012.

Officials say our growing population is one reason -- along with higher commercial traffic as the economy continues to rebound from the Great Recession.

The travel estimates are based on statewide fuel consumption data, average vehicle gas mileage, and traffic counts.

Officials said the average Wisconsinite traveled around 10,350 miles in a motor vehicle last year.

Lots of us were driving less during the recession. Advocacy groups said it was because younger Americans preferred alternatives to driving -- like public transit and bike paths.

Back then, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group said Milwaukee area drivers had reduced their car usage by 20 percent from 2006 through '11. Madison had an 18 percent traffic drop during that time.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)