How Far, by Which Route, and Why? A Spatial Analysis of Pedestrian Preference
There is an increasing interest in community walkability, as reflected in the growing number of state and federal initiatives on Safe Routes to School, the new concern over a national obesity epidemic (especially in children), and a wide range of policy initiatives designed to convince travelers to switch from auto trips to more environmentally sustainable bicycle and walking trips. In each of these cases, policy makers recognize walking as a key mode of travel and believe that increasing the number of walk trips is a key goal.
Despite the seeming simplicity of the goal, we know very little about how far people actually walk or about how street design affects people’s willingness or capacity to access their desired destinations by walking. This paper reports on a survey designed to answer two primary research questions related to the topic of pedestrian behavior: (1) How far do pedestrians walk to light rail stations? (2) What environmental factors do they say influence their route choice?