Can Pedestrian-friendly Planning Encourage Us to Walk?

A look at efforts to change walking and biking behavior by focusing on the built environment

UC Berkeley Traffic Safety Center

It is difficult to determine whether altering the built environment by making it more "walkable" prompts people to change their travel habits, especially when it comes to walking. Because pedestrian trips comprise a very small percentage of travel overall, changes in pedestrian behavior are hard to measure. Additionally, ways to measure "walkability" are still being developed.

In this issue of the Traffic Safety Center newsletter, we explore the link between physical activity and changes to the built environment in light of traffic safety concerns.

  • How, and when, does pedestrian activity become "safe?"
  • Does the goal of making communities more "walkable" necessarily imply making them safer?
  • Are the safety needs of walkers and cyclists given proper consideration among transportation planners and engineers?
  • What is being done at the infrastructure level to make walking and biking appealing and safe alternatives to driving?

Filed in: Community Problems and Solutions, Health, Promoting Walking and Bicycling, Plans and Policies, Crashes and Safety, Why Walk or Bike

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