The Influences of Built Environments on Walking and Cycling
Authors:Justin Arcade, Sara Lafia
Mentor:Do Kim, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Active transportation modes, including walking and bicycling, have recently attracted attention due to their potential for reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Active transportation modes can replace most short trips such as shopping, dining, and getting to a transit station, which have traditionally warranted the use of an automobile. Active transportation modes also have decisive social and public health benefits.
The built environment is one of the most important decision factors for active transportation modes’ route choices and trip decisions. Built environments generally influence travel behavior by affecting the distances traveled between destinations and the relative efficiency of different modes. The built environment has a direct impact on the safety, comfort and convenience of active transportation mode choices for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The purpose of this study is to examine how attributes of the built environment – urban density, demographics, land use, and infrastructure – are associated with active transportation modes. This study uses state-of-the art geographic information systems (GIS) technology to quantify the built environment of two cities: West Covina and Pomona. Furthermore, it seeks statistical evidence of spatial correlation between the environment and bicycle/pedestrian counts. This study reveals that effective infrastructure design is associated with the number of bicycle/pedestrian trips. This study determines some factors that make a successful bicycle facility in terms of connectivity with relevant destinations.