It seems that we have hit the peak of the mania for driving in the US, and have started a gradual return to sanity. I found a graph of annual per capita miles driven for the past 40 years at SSTI to Transport Officials: Start Planning for a Future With Less Driving:
Note: this doesn’t mean that total driving has started heading down yet, since population is still rising. Nor can I defend 9,500 miles per capita, since that is still a huge amount of driving, but it seems that there is a definite sustained downward trend. It may take another 40 years to get back to more sane levels of driving (which I put at around 2,000 miles per capita per year), but I see some hope for the future.
Thanks to Richard Masoner, whose post on Cycleicio.us pointed me to the dc.streetsblog.org post.