Jan 3, 2024 - News

Metro Phoenix walking trips fell 27% from 2019

Daily walking trips per 1,000 people in 2022
Data: StreetLight Data; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

There's been a staggering decline in the number of walking trips Valley residents take, per a new report.

Why it matters: Walking is good for us.

Driving the news: The number of annual average daily walking trips per 1,000 people in the Phoenix metro area dropped more than 27% between 2019 and 2022, per a new StreetLight Data report.

  • There were 240 annual average daily walking trips per 1,000 people in 2022, compared with 330 in 2019.

How it works: StreetLight measures travel behavior based on anonymized data from mobile devices, vehicle GPS systems and more.

  • For this analysis, one "walking trip" is any trip taken by foot that's more than 250 meters (about 820 feet) from start to finish.

The big picture: Nationally, the number of annual average daily walking trips dropped a whopping 36% in the contiguous U.S. between 2019 and 2022.

  • "In every metro and state that StreetLight analyzed, walking trips declined over the three-year period by at least 20%," per the report.

Our thought bubble: So much for all that walking people were doing during the pandemic.

What they're saying: It's clear that the COVID-19 pandemic had an "obvious impact," StreetLight says. But beyond that, the group isn't sure what's keeping Americans off their feet.

  • Some impact could be attributed to remote work, which can make it all too easy to become overly sedentary.

The bottom line: "For communities focused on safety, climate, health and equity initiatives, an all-hands-on-deck strategy across safety, transit, land use and more will be needed to increase walking activity," per StreetLight's report.

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