Goals > Walking
Walking is a recommended activity to help people reach the recommended levels of physical activity, in part because it can be easily incorporated into everyday life (US DHHS, 2015). Walking is defined here to mean the movement of every pedestrian, including those who walk or roll with a mobility device.
In addition to its physical activity benefits, walking can increase social interaction (Wood et al., 2010, paywall) and improve mental health. Walking is a pollution-free activity and when a walking trip substitutes for a vehicle trip, it reduces air and climate pollution.
Equity and Inclusion
- Pedestrians are disproportionately injured and killed on US roadways. While overall rates of deaths from traffic crashes decreased in 2018, pedestrian deaths increased; in fact, they are the highest they have been since 1990 (NHTSA, 2019).
- Drivers are less likely to yield to Black pedestrians attempting to cross the street in crosswalks, suggesting driver bias may play a role in Black pedestrian deaths (Coughenour et al., 2017, paywall; Goddard et al., 2015, paywall).
- People of color, especially Black people, may fear harassment or violence while walking. As such, an approach that only incorporates environmental interventions will not directly address racist violence.
- Street lighting may improve resident perception of safety.
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