Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Grab Bag: How we commute, and why smart growth is healthier in so many ways

Did you know that if you walk or ride your bike to work, you will be fitter — and probably weigh less — than your counterpart who drives every day?

Did you know that in the U.S. in 2013, 76 percent of people still drive to work alone?

Did you know that since 2006, walking, riding a bike or taking public transit are seeing greater percentage increases than driving?

Well, now you do.

A recent Wall Street Journal article looked at the impacts of commute mode on health, and this is the story they told.

Here's the bad news: The top chart shows us just how bad our habits had become. Over 75% of us still drive alone to work.

Here's the good news: But if we look at the bottom chart, we can see how quickly the popularity of walking and biking and taking public transit to work is growing.

As I have said many times in other contexts, these modes of travel to work, walking, biking, public transit, are only possible when you live close enough to work to make it even feasible.  The popularity of these modes is both a reflection of the new-found popularity of urban centers as places to live, work and play, and it is reason to continue to focus our density on walkable, rideable communities near transit nodes.

[You can read the WSJ article here. Their data comes from the American Community Survey (ACS).]