Walking trips plummet in Minneapolis post-pandemic
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.
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