Most efforts to increase bike and walk accessibility focus on physical access. But the built environment is not the full story. A new study finds that certain attributes of the social environment also greatly affect the perception of walkability, especially among people of color.
The Twin Cities are home to two of the largest skyway systems in the U.S. Although the skyways operate as streets for the many residents, workers, and visitors in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the systems are managed very differently between the two cities, and in the past few years St. Paul’s system has been facing new conflicts related to crime and loitering.
While per-capita traffic casualties are declining with increasing transit ridership, many people still harbor an irrational fear of public transit—making them less likely to use transit or support increased transit service. Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI) released a new study last month that delves into this issue.