How Far Will You Walk to Transit?

Perhaps further than you thought. A new study suggests that the distance people will walk to transit (generally assumed to be 1/4 mile or so) may be less a function of distance than of the obstacles they find along the way.

Major findings:

  • Pedestrians walk farther to access light rail stations than commonly assumed, with a mean distance of about a half-mile rather than the prevailing notion of a quarter to a third of a mile.
  • Pedestrians say that their primary concern in choosing a route is minimizing time and distance.
  • Secondary factors influencing route choice are safety and, to a lesser extent, attractiveness of the route, sidewalk quality, and the absence of long waits at traffic lights.
  • Pedestrians vary considerably in how accurately they estimate the distance of their walks.

Hat tip to Bob Richardson for the pointer to the study.

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