FAQ Search Results

Why don't people walk?

The 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors reports that one in five adults age 16 or older have either never walked or had not walked during a thirty-day period in the summer of 2002. The survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that the number one reason for not walking is that respondents were either too busy or did not have the opportunity to walk. Other reasons frequently cited include traffic safety concerns and distances that are too great to easily walk.

Volume II details the findings of the survey, and notes that for people 16 and older; personal errands, exercise and recreation are the most common reasons for walking trips. About 6 percent of pedestrians felt their personal safety threatened on their most recent trip, with 62 percent saying they felt threatened by motorists. Approximately one-third of those surveyed would like to see changes in their community's design including more sidewalks and lights. (2002 Survey Volume II).

For more information about how to address the reasons people don't walk, read our section on Common Pedestrian Problems and Solutions.