California Transportation Gets More Active

Posted 04/08/14 by Barry Bergman in Trail Use

Photo © Bryce Hall

Have you noticed that more people seem to be bicycling and walking? Well, it’s not your imagination.

In fact, the California Household Travel Survey just released a detailed report on the travel patterns of more than 100,000 people statewide and found that the percentage of trips made by biking and walking in 2012 was nearly double what it was in 2000. 

Walking trips jumped to 16.6 percent of all trips in 2012, up from 8.4 percent in 2000. The rate of increase for biking trips—from 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent of all trips—also nearly doubled. 

“Based on this research, we can make good decisions about transportation that will improve mobility, air quality and travel choices for all Californians and make our state a better place to live and work,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

This is an important trend at a time when state and local agencies are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage planning for more sustainable development and promote healthier, more active lifestyles. The demand for safer, more convenient places to walk and bike will certainly be evident in the upcoming call for projects for California’s new Active Transportation Program, which RTC helped create. 

“We’re thrilled that Californians are getting on their feet and on their bikes in increasing numbers,” said Laura Cohen, western regional director for RTC. “This survey confirms that our work advocating for more investment in trails and active transportation is right on target.” 

Mary D. Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, which is leading California’s groundbreaking program to cut greenhouse gases and operate a cap-and-trade program, affirmed that the state will support the trend toward increased non-motorized travel. 

"Californians are increasingly choosing alternatives to driving a car for work and play. That's a shift with real benefits for public health that also cuts greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollution," she said. "California is committed to supporting this shift with better planning to support sustainable communities and healthier, low-carbon choices for travel."

Download the California Household Travel Survey Report here.

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