by K Joh, S Chakrabarti, MG Boarnet, A Woo

Sustainability 7(7):8985-9011


Increasing travel by foot is important for reducing automobile use and improving public health. Despite numerous studies on walking travel, there has been little to no research at the regional level or over time. In this study, the authors conducted a longitudinal analysis of walking travel in the greater Los Angeles area, which consists of five counties, using data from 2001 and 2009. Travel diary and household data from regional and national surveys were used to analyze changes in walking trip shares and rates. Throughout the time period studied, walking trip shares and rates both significantly increased across most of the greater Los Angeles area. Results showed that population density was a significant positive influence on both walking trip shares and rates. However, the relationship between transit stop density and walking was less clear. Although transit stop density did not directly influence walking, greater transit density has likely led to increased ridership and thus more walking trips between stops. With significant increases in walking travel throughout Los Angeles, research suggests a role for land use planning and transit service. Ultimately, this case study can serve as an example of how a formerly auto-centric city can be transformed through densification and transit service expansion to foster sustainable transport options.

Region: Los Angeles, California
Publication Type: Journal article
Keywords: human health and well-being, sustainability, transportation, urban densification, and urbanization