The walking renaissance: A longitudinal analysis of walking travel in the Greater Los Angeles Area, USA

Kenneth Joh, Sandip Chakrabarti, Marlon G. Boarnet, Ayoung Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Promoting walking travel is considered important for reducing automobile use and improving public health. Recent U.S. transportation policy has incentivized investments in alternative, more sustainable transportation modes such as walking, bicycling and transit in auto-oriented cities such as Los Angeles. Although many past studies have analyzed changes in walking travel across the U.S., there is little clarity on the drivers of change. We address this gap by conducting a longitudinal analysis of walking travel in the greater Los Angeles area from 2001 to 2009. We use travel diary and household data from regional and national surveys to analyze changes in walking trip shares and rates across our study area. Results show that walking has significantly increased across most of Los Angeles, and that increases in walking trips generally correspond with increases in population, employment, and transit service densities. Estimates from fixed-effects regression analysis generally suggest a positive association between population density and walking, and that higher increases in transit stop density are correlated with increased walking trips to and from transit stops. These findings illustrate how regional planning efforts to pursue a coordinated land use-transit planning strategy can help promote walking in auto-oriented or vehicle adopting cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8985-9011
Number of pages27
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2015


  • Fixed-effects regression
  • Longitudinal study
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Transit
  • Travel survey
  • Walking


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