How Common is Pedestrian Travel To, From, and Within Shopping Districts?


Growing interest in sustainable transportation systems and livable communities has created a need for more complete measures of pedestrian travel. Yet, many performance measures do not account for short pedestrian movements, such as walking between stores in a shopping district, walking from a street parking space to a building entrance, or walking from a bus stop to home. This study uses a 2009 intercept survey and the 2009 National Household Travel Survey to quantify pedestrian travel to, from, and within 20 San Francisco Bay Area shopping districts. Overall, walking was the primary travel mode for 21% of intercept survey and 10% of NHTS tours with stops in these shopping districts. However, detailed analysis of pedestrian movements showed that walking was common on respondent tours (52% of intercept survey tours included some walking) and that walking was used on the majority of trips within these shopping districts (65% of intercept survey trips and 71% of NHTS trips within the shopping districts were made by walking). In general, Urban Core and Suburban Main Street shopping districts had higher levels of pedestrian activity than Suburban Thoroughfare and Suburban Shopping Center shopping districts. The detailed analysis in this paper provides a more complete picture of pedestrian activity than is commonly shown by national and regional household survey summaries. 

Publication date: 
January 1, 2012
Publication type: 
Working Paper