John Pucher’s study on walking and cycling trends in the U.S. is now available online at the American Journal of Public Health website. The study is based upon data gathered from the National Household Travel Surveys. From the Abstract:
Objectives. To assess changes in walking and cycling in the United States between 2001 and 2009.
Results. The average American made 17 more walk trips in 2009 than in 2001, covering 9 more miles per year, compared with only 2 more bike trips, and 5 more miles cycling. At the population level, the prevalence of “any walking” remained unchanged (about 18%), whereas walking at least 30 minutes per day increased from 7.2% to 8.0%. The prevalence of “any cycling” and cycling 30 minutes per day remained unchanged (1.7% and 0.9%, respectively). Active travel declined for women, children, and seniors, but increased among men, the middle aged, employed, well-educated, and persons without a car.
According to the study, approximately 75% of pedestrian trips and 50% of biking trips in 2009 were for utilitarian purposes, with the remainder being for recreation. While the overall numbers are not encouraging, it is notable that the percentage of utilitarian versus recreational bicycle trips rose from 43% to 51% from 2001-2009.