Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Choose, Therefore I Walk (Bike, Bus, Drive...)

Do people walk down unpleasant streets, bike on roads without a bike path and drive when they do not have to? Sure, this occurs everyday. The notion that people drive more in the suburbs and walk more in the city is now complicated by the idea of choice. Granted accessibility and income largely dictate transportation mode choice, new studies by Handy and Mokhtarian, "Which comes First: The Neighborhood or the Walking?" question the causes for such outcomes. Do people that like to walk more simply move to walkable neighborhoods? If so, this challenges the built environments' role in creating walkable neighborhoods. Conversely, if driving is ingrained behavior or people's preference, would it really matter if goods were accessible? Would people still drive? What is your attitude about travel and what would it take to change your behavior?