Walking in the U.S. saw a widespread decline, likely influenced by remote work and the rise in cycling, a new report suggests.
The national annual average of daily walking trips fell by 36% from 2019 to 2022, with some cities and states experiencing a drop in walking trips, ranging from at least 29% fewer trips to as much as 55% fewer trips over the three-year period, according to a new report by the mobility data company Streetlight Data.
Among states with declines, New Jersey had the smallest decline in walking trips, experiencing a 29% decrease, while the District of Columbia saw a substantial 55% decline, with Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee ranking lowest for per capita walking trips.
However, California and New York, among the five most populous states surveyed, recorded 13% and 6% increases in the number of walking trips in 2022.
Warmer locations like Florida, Arizona, and Nevada also experienced declines, ranging from 23% to 49%.
“The state of walking activity and active transportation mode share in the top 100 metros by population shows the stark impact of the remote work trend, quiet downtowns, and other potential factors, such as safety,” the study notes.
Overall, in 2022, 43 states saw fewer people walking compared to the previous year, and 29 of them had a drop in double digits. The study says this suggests that the decline in walking persists in many places, even without significant changes.
According to Streetlight Data, across the nation, there was a 37% increase in annual average daily bicycle trips from 2019 to 2022, while currently 12.7% of full-time American employees work remotely, and 28.2% follow a hybrid work model, contributing to the walking decline.
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