Nov 20, 2023 - News

Walking trips plummet in Minneapolis post-pandemic

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 trips Twin Cities residents take by putting one foot in front of another, per a new report.

  • In Minneapolis, the annual average daily walking trips dropped a whopping 48.4% between 2019 and 2022.

Why it matters: Walking is good for us and, when used to replace short car trips, good for the planet.

The big picture: Nationally, walking trips dropped 36%, StreetLight Data found.

  • The analysis used anonymized data from mobile devices and more to measure trips taken by foot that were more than 800 feet — about 0.15 miles — from start to finish.

Zoom in: Minneapolis fell in the middle of the pack for the 100 metro areas analyzed, with 160 daily trips per 1,000 people.

Zoom out: New York City ranks highest among the top 50 U.S. metro areas sorted by annual average daily walking trips per capita in 2022, at 390 — no surprise to anyone who's ever lived there and racked up a few miles of walking every day in the normal course of life.

  • Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; and Ogden, Utah, are all tied for last place, at just 220 trips per 1,000 people.

Bucking the trend: Los Angeles (+19%), San Diego (+14%), and Modesto, California (+13%) all saw an increase in annual average daily walking trips in 2022 compared to the previous year.

The intrigue: "Active transportation" — that is, walking and biking — accounted for just 10% of overall trips in 2022, down from 14% in 2019.

  • Driving is only 4% below 2019 levels — yet another sign that America is a country of car lovers.

Between the lines: It's clear that the pandemic had an "obvious impact," StreetLight says. But beyond that, the group isn't sure what's keeping Americans off their feet.

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

My thought bubble: I travel by foot to and from daycare most days and walk our dog, and even then I feel like I'm barely moving compared to the steps I logged pre-pandemic when I worked out of an office and lived in the North Loop.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Twin Cities.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Twin Cities stories

No stories could be found

Twin Citiespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Twin Cities.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more