Comment 64625

By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 11:18:53

In Sept 2009 paper Understanding Walking and Cycling: A Multi-Method Approach to Investigating Household Decision Making in Relation to Short Journeys in Urban Areas, Dr. Tim Jones (Dept of Planning, Oxford Brookes University) notes that "For the period 1997 to 1999, of the 1046 trips made per person per year, 70% were below 5 miles. Moreover, one quarter of car journeys were under two miles and over half (57%) were under 5 miles." Unsurprisingly, many of those short-haul trips are the ones most likely to favour pedestrians, cyclists or public transit. In fact, for trips under two miles, walking was almost twice as prevalent as driving prevalent than driving -- and for trips under one mile, walking was four times as favoured. Above 2 miles, however, the gap narrows -- and once you've passed 5 miles, cars win out overwhelmingly, being used for as many longer trips as bus and bike combined. The erosion in walking and cycling stats seems to be directly related to the observation that "the number of short trips is decreasing and being replaced by longer trips and that the car is being used more for all trip lengths. The trend, therefore, is towards fewer opportunities being available to conduct journeys on foot or by bicycle." I would imagine that as commute times extend and exurban development continues apace, that short-haul trips will become less and less frequent, and reliance upon motorized vehicles increasingly common.

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