Unfortunately, NHTS data can't be disaggregated to understand the travel of specific states, regions, or cities, because it's only available for the country as a whole. Not only does this make it difficult to apply NHTS to specific areas, there is always the possibility of things being thrown off by the New York Factor (because of its vast population, high density, and unique transportation system, New York City tends to skew nationwide travel data).
Nonetheless, the latest round of data has some interesting info for us ped-heads:
- About 11 percent of all trips in the US are made on foot (compared to about 82 percent by private vehicle, 1 percent by bike, and --this is why I generally favor pedestrian investment over transit spending--4 percent by public transit).
- Relatively few people walk to work (about 6 percent of work trips), but nearly a quarter of all family/personal business and social/recreational trips are walking trips. This is why I feel it's very important to invest in neighborhood walkability: Americans might not be able to walk to the office, but they make up for it by walking a lot on their off time.
- Compared to social and personal trips, school/daycare walking trips are relatively low; only about 10 percent of people walk to school/daycare/religious activities. Yet another argument for the importance of the Safe Routes to School program