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Walking frequency, cars, dogs, and the built environment

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  • Sehatzadeh, Bahareh
  • Noland, Robert B.
  • Weiner, Marc D.

Abstract

To explain walking propensity or frequency, empirical studies have generally used two sets of explanatory variables, namely, socio-demographic variables and built environment variables. They have generally shown that both socio-demographic characteristics and built environment characteristics are associated with walking propensity. We examine the traditional walkability variables that encompass density, mix of uses, and network connectivity in New Jersey, using a statewide sample including an oversample of Jersey City. We estimate a two-stage least squares model using a conditional mixed process that combines an ordered probit model of walking frequency in the second stage based on a truncated regression of car ownership in the first stage. Our results show that built environment variables have some small effects, mainly from better network connectivity associated with increased walking frequency. One of our key findings is that built environment features also work indirectly via how they influence car ownership. In general, we find sufficient evidence that suggests fewer cars are owned in areas with more walkable built environment features. The other key variable that we control for is whether a household owns a dog. This also proved to be strongly associated with walking suggesting that dog ownership is a necessary control variable to understand the frequency of walking.

Suggested Citation

  • Sehatzadeh, Bahareh & Noland, Robert B. & Weiner, Marc D., 2011. "Walking frequency, cars, dogs, and the built environment," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 741-754, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:8:p:741-754
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    Cited by:

    1. Soltani, Ali, 2017. "Social and urban form determinants of vehicle ownership; evidence from a developing country," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 90-100.
    2. Lachapelle, Ugo & Noland, Robert B., 2012. "Does the commute mode affect the frequency of walking behavior? The public transit link," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 26-36.

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