Walking IS Transportation
November 8th, 2010, 4:28 pm
When someone refers to modes of transportation, what comes to mind may be a subway, bus or private car, rather than the oldest, most sustainable mode of all. Walking. We all know New Yorkers walk a lot; a question on the MAS Livability Survey conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion suggests the importance of walking as daily transportation. The pollster asked the amount of time the respondent spent walking on his or her way to work or school; (see page 41 of the Marist Poll). As you would expect, not everyone in New York travels to work or school and many of those who do walk don’t walk far. But 48% of those polled reported walking at least 15 minutes on their way to work or school. Of those, 13% walked more than 30 minutes and 10% more than one hour. How many miles does that represent? We don’t know how slow or fast these New Yorkers walk, but the average adult walking speed is generally described as three miles an hour. Even if we calculate based on the least amount of time reported (say, 15 minutes if the range was 15-30 minutes), the mileage is impressive.
- If they walk at the rate of three miles an hour, the 25% of New Yorkers who walk at least 15 minutes would be walking over 1.5 million miles every school or work day.
- Those who walk at least 30 minutes would cover over 1.6 million miles and
- Those walking at least an hour would walk more than 2.4 million miles.