LANSING, Mich. -

Advocates say Michigan policymakers should wake up to the fact that residents are driving less and start focusing on public transit and biking alternatives.

Per-person driving miles in Michigan are down nearly 7 percent since 2005. It's a trend occurring across the U.S.

Some researchers say the changes are mostly a reflection of the economy and driving could bounce back. Others say the decline in driving reflects fundamental changes in the way Americans view the automobile.
The consumer group the PIRGIM Education Fund released a report last week saying now's the time to spend more on public transit and other non-driving modes of transportation in Michigan.

Some advocates question why the state spends so much on highway construction.

But others say Michigan highways are deteriorating and need maintenance.