Article

U.S. School Travel, 2009 An Assessment of Trends

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Abstract

The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity has set a goal of increasing walking and biking to school by 50% within 5 years. Meeting the goal requires a detailed understanding of the current patterns of school travel. To document nationally representative estimates of the amount of school travel and the modes used to access school in 2009 and compare these levels with 1969, 1995, and 2001. The National Household Travel Survey collected data on the travel patterns of 150,147 households in 2008 and 2009. Analyses, conducted in 2010, documented the time, vehicle miles traveled, and modes used by American students to reach school. A binary logit model assessed the influence of trip, child, and household characteristics on the decision to walk to school. In 2009, 12.7% of K-8 students usually walked or biked to school compared with 47.7% in 1969. Rates of walking and biking to school were higher on the trip home from school in each survey year. During the morning peak period, school travel accounted for 5%-7% of vehicle miles traveled in 2009 and 10%-14% of all private vehicles on the road. There have been sharp increases in driving children to school since 1969 and corresponding decreases in walking to school. This increase is particularly evident in the number of vehicle trips generated by parents dropping children at school and teens driving themselves. The NHTS survey provides a unique opportunity to monitor these trends in the future.

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... Recent studies also suggest that promoting children's independent mobility (IM; ie, children's freedom to move around in public space without adult supervision) might be a promising strategy to increase both AT and PA among children (41,47). However, children's IM and rates of AT to/from school have both declined markedly over the last century in many countries (13,15,17,28,49). For instance, in a landmark study conducted in the United Kingdom, Hillman et al (17) observed that the percentage of 7-and 8-year olds allowed to walk home from school on their own decreased from 80% in 1971 to 9% in 1990. ...
... In addition, using data from the 12 countries that participated in the International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment, Larouche et al (23) found that the correlates of school travel mode were highly context specific. Furthermore, in the North American context, studies have consistently indicated that boys are more likely to engage in AT to/from school and have greater IM than girls (20,28,37,47). Such findings emphasize the need for studies to include gender-balanced samples of children living in urban, suburban, and rural areas. ...
... In addition, pedometers are limited for measuring PA during activities such as cycling, swimming, and weight lifting. As in many previous surveys in North America, few children reported cycling to/from school (2,15,28), so all active travel modes were pooled for analyses. Finally, our questionnaires were not designed to examine trip chains. ...
Article
Purpose: Children's independent mobility (IM) may facilitate both active transportation (AT) and physical activity (PA), but previous studies examining these associations were conducted in single regions that provided limited geographical variability. Method: We recruited 1699 children (55.0% girls) in 37 schools stratified by level of urbanization and socioeconomic status in 3 regions of Canada: Ottawa, Trois-Rivières, and Vancouver. Participants wore a SC-StepRx pedometer for 7 days and completed a validated questionnaire from which we derived a 6-point IM index, the number of AT trips over a week, and the volume of AT to/from school (in kilometer per week). We investigated relationships among measures of IM, AT, and PA employing linear mixed models or generalized linear mixed models adjusted for site, urbanization, and socioeconomic status. Results: Each unit increase in IM was associated with 9% more AT trips, 19% higher AT volume, and 147 more steps per day, with consistent results across genders. Both measures of AT were associated with marginally higher PA when pooling boys' and girls' data. Children in Vancouver engaged in more AT. PA did not vary across site, urbanization, or socioeconomic status. Conclusion: IM was associated with more AT and PA regardless of where children lived, underscoring a need for IM interventions.
... 5 The ecological and cognitive active commuting framework highlights socio-demographic factors as important moderators of the association between children's travel behaviour and people's perception, the availability of resources and psychosocial factors. 6 Sociodemographic differences in ACS have been observed indicating specific groups being at risk of passive modes of commuting to school: Studies identified gender, 7-9 income, 7,10 migration background, 11,12 the travel distance to school [13][14][15] and residential setting 15,16 to be associated with commuting behaviour. ...
... 6 In Switzerland more than 70% of schoolchildren use active transport modes, 13 while in the USA only 12.7% walk or cycle to school. 14 Additionally, across different countries, a declining prevalence of ACS was recognised over the last 50 years 9,13,14 : Among US school children the proportion of those who walked or cycled to school decreased from 40.7% in 1969-12.7% in 2009. 14 In European countries, for example in Spain, walking to school declined from 61% to 46% in girls whereas no changes were reported in boys between 2001 and 2007. ...
... 6 In Switzerland more than 70% of schoolchildren use active transport modes, 13 while in the USA only 12.7% walk or cycle to school. 14 Additionally, across different countries, a declining prevalence of ACS was recognised over the last 50 years 9,13,14 : Among US school children the proportion of those who walked or cycled to school decreased from 40.7% in 1969-12.7% in 2009. 14 In European countries, for example in Spain, walking to school declined from 61% to 46% in girls whereas no changes were reported in boys between 2001 and 2007. ...
Article
Background Inactivity in children and adolescents is a global issue requiring interventions that target different domains of physical activity, such as active transport. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, historical trends and socio-demographic correlates of active commuting to school (ACS) in a nationwide sample of girls and boys from Germany. Methods Data of commuting behaviour and socio-demographic factors were collected, covering three measurement points from 2003 to 2017. The MoMo Study derived its data from a representative sample of children and adolescents aged 4–17 years who answered a questionnaire (N = 11 387). Statistically significant differences between Baseline, Wave 1 and Wave 2 were determined via 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for complex samples. Results Overall, ACS decreased from 84.4% at the first measurement point to 78.3% in the third measurement point. The proportion of cases in which children opted for passive modes of commuting increased predominantly in those aged 4–5 years, in children with a low-to-medium socio-economic status, and in children residing in small- or medium-sized towns. No gender differences were found in active commuting. The results of multinomial logistic regression identified age, migration background and residential area as correlates of walking for boys. For girls, the likelihood of walking, cycling and taking public transport instead of opting for motorized transport increased with age. Conclusions Intervention programmes to increase active transport in children and adolescents should target different age groups and also consider parental influence in determining the child’s choice of transport mode.
... However, many countries have registered a decline in children's active mobility (e.g. walking and cycling) in the last decades, which includes cities both in the Global North and the Global South, for instance 48% to 13% in the United States between 1969and 2009(McDonald et al. 2011) and 70% to 49% in São Paulo between 1997(de Sá et al. 2016. This phenomenon seems to be associated to the facilitated acquisition of private vehicles (Fyhri et al. 2011;Sá et al., 2014), the parental concerns about traffic and stranger danger (McDonald et al. 2011), and to the spatial distribution of schools as a result of bigger units and more children in private schools, which increases distance to school (Fyhri et al. 2011;McDonald et al. 2011). ...
... walking and cycling) in the last decades, which includes cities both in the Global North and the Global South, for instance 48% to 13% in the United States between 1969and 2009(McDonald et al. 2011) and 70% to 49% in São Paulo between 1997(de Sá et al. 2016. This phenomenon seems to be associated to the facilitated acquisition of private vehicles (Fyhri et al. 2011;Sá et al., 2014), the parental concerns about traffic and stranger danger (McDonald et al. 2011), and to the spatial distribution of schools as a result of bigger units and more children in private schools, which increases distance to school (Fyhri et al. 2011;McDonald et al. 2011). In this sense, schools and education policies can have a major role in promoting sustainable habits, including the right to live in sustainable cities and to use clean transport modes. ...
... walking and cycling) in the last decades, which includes cities both in the Global North and the Global South, for instance 48% to 13% in the United States between 1969and 2009(McDonald et al. 2011) and 70% to 49% in São Paulo between 1997(de Sá et al. 2016. This phenomenon seems to be associated to the facilitated acquisition of private vehicles (Fyhri et al. 2011;Sá et al., 2014), the parental concerns about traffic and stranger danger (McDonald et al. 2011), and to the spatial distribution of schools as a result of bigger units and more children in private schools, which increases distance to school (Fyhri et al. 2011;McDonald et al. 2011). In this sense, schools and education policies can have a major role in promoting sustainable habits, including the right to live in sustainable cities and to use clean transport modes. ...
Article
This manuscript seeks to evaluate changes in the travel behavior of young children (5–6 y/o.) and their caregivers following the implementation of a 4-month program in public preschools in São Paulo (Brazil) with a high prevalence of low-income immigrants. The program was developed around two intervention types: i) weekly inquiry sessions about urban mobility through the Philosophy with Children approach and ii) bimonthly outdoor walking activities in the surroundings of schools. In this way, it was possible to observe positive changes in the perceptions of children's statements and in the social norms of their caregivers about transportation, as well as significant modal shifts as reported by caregivers towards sustainable mobility, which were evaluated using difference-in-differences and time-series analyses. Besides the identification of changes in the behavior of adult caregivers through child-centered intervention types, this empirical research enabled unraveling the effect of the proposed measures according to the child's gender, nationality, and level of social vulnerability, including the significant modal shifts towards walking and cycling identified among caregivers of boys and out of car and motorcycle among those of native children, which were significant both in post and follow-up measures. In addition to contributions to the evaluation of school-based interventions with data from developing countries, the discussions presented in this paper intend to provide insights into the role of early childhood and perceptions in behavioral changes towards sustainable transport.
... This study substantiates other longitudinal studies that support distance from school as the strongest predictor of walking and biking (McDonald, Brown, Marchetti, & Pedroso, 2011;Murtagh, Dempster, & Murphy, 2016). Consider school siting options to reduce distance from home to school to promote walking and biking as a viable option. ...
... Students in the sample were 5.53 times less likely to walk or bike to school, and 4.53 times less like to walk or bike home from school for every unit increase in distance. These findings are similar to other prominent research focused on correlates of active transportation to school (McDonald et al., 2011;Murtagh et al., 2016) and support the idea that schools should be sited close to neighborhoods. ...
... Time use surveys suggest that the amount of time women spend on housework has declined (2). Travel survey data from the United States indicate that the percentage of trips taken by walking and cycling has declined in both children (7)(8)(9) and adults (10). On the other hand, data obtained with PA questionnaires and time-use surveys suggest that leisure-time PA (LTPA) in adults has increased over the past couple of decades (11)(12)(13). ...
... Although other studies have reported that adolescent girls tend to have lower levels of PA than adolescent boys (51,52), our subgroup metaanalysis found that both adolescent boys and girls had a similar relative decline in PA. Although not mentioned in the studies we reviewed, it is possible that reductions in physical education (5,14) and walking or biking to school (7,8,(53)(54)(55) also contributed to the decline in PA levels seen in adolescents. Earlier studies in Sweden did not report a decline in pedometerdetermined mean weekday steps per day among 7-to 9-yr-olds between 2000 and 2006 (56) or in 13-to 14-yr-olds between 2000 and 2008 (37). ...
Article
Introduction: Conflicting evidence exists on whether physical activity (PA) levels of humans have changed over the last quarter-century. The main objective of this study was to determine if there is evidence of time trends in PA, from cross-sectional studies that assessed PA at different time points using wearable devices (e.g., pedometers, accelerometers). A secondary objective was to quantify the rate of change in PA. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted of English language studies indexed in PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science (1960-2020) using search terms (time OR temporal OR secular) AND trends AND (steps per day OR pedometer OR accelerometer OR MVPA). Subsequently, a meta-analytic approach was used to aggregate data from multiple studies, and to examine specific factors (i.e. sex, age group, sex-and-age group, and PA metric). Results: Based on 16 peer-reviewed scientific studies conducted between 1995 and 2017, levels of ambulatory PA are trending downward in developed countries. Significant declines were seen in both males and females (p < 0.001) as well as in children (p = 0.020), adolescents (p < 0.001) and adults (p = 0.004). The average study duration was 9.4 yrs (accelerometer studies: 5.3 yrs, pedometer studies: 10.8 yrs). For studies that assessed steps, the average change in PA was -1,118 steps/day over the course of the study (p < 0.001) and adolescents had the greatest change in PA at -2,278 steps/day (p < 0.001). Adolescents also had the steepest rate of change over time, expressed in steps/day/decade. Conclusion: Evidence from studies conducted in eight developed nations over a 22-yr period indicates that PA levels have declined overall, especially in adolescents. This study emphasizes the need for continued research tracking time trends in PA using wearable devices.
... Some scholars have evaluated the impact of the built environment on school travel, looking at three aspects: neighborhood environment, school and surrounding built environment, and school-path built environment. On this basis, many scholars have used the social-ecological modeling theory and methods to analyze school commuting behavior and found that proximity, safety, connectivity, comfort and attractiveness, and social capital all have an impact on children's school commuting choice [25,26]. ...
Article
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The long-distance commute to school caused by urban sprawl and the car-oriented urban construction model are key factors leading to primary/middle school students being picked up by their parents in cars. Encouraging those students to take rail transit can reduce their dependence on cars. This paper uses a stepwise regression based on rail-transit swipe data to explore the influence of the built environment on rail-transit commuting characteristics in Wuhan, and uses a geographically weighted regression (GWR) model to analyze the spatial heterogeneity of significant influencing variables. The study found that: (1) 60% of students are one-way commuters; (2) 88.6% of students travel less than 10 km; (3) the floor area ratio, bus station density and whether the station is a transfer station have an obvious positive effect on the flow of commuters; (4) whether the station is a departure station has a positive effect on the commuting distance, but the mixed degree of land use and road density have a negative effect on the commuting distance. This research can assist cities in formulating built environment optimization measures and related policies to improve school-age children’s use of rail transit. This is important in the development of child-friendly cities.
... Also CIM is about characteristics such as peer support, parents' attitude to independent mobility, parents' and children's attitudes towards traffic, crimes against children and fear of strangers (Foster et al., 2014). Many results suggest a significant decline in parents' allowance for children's free games and independent travel to school (McDonald et al., 2011;Schoeppe et al., 2016;Shaw et al., 2013). Parents' attitudes affect the CIM time and range but there is no coherent research into the relationship between parent perception and CIM range/time. ...
Article
Introduction Previous studies provide evidence that associations between different factors and children's independent mobility (CIM). In these studies, no difference between CIM range and time whereas have been difference between CIM range and time and attitudes of children and parents. Roles of different factors, including gender haven't been also proven with CIM time and range. Therefore, sought to determine impact assessment of socio-demographic, built-environmental and perceptual characteristics with CIM time and range varied by sex. Methods The present study measured the longest distance of each child from house as CIM range (meter) and the CIM time was calculated based on the weekly activity programs of children (minutes). Research were conduct in Ilam, Iran and 102 twelve-to-fourteen-year-old children and their parent were studied (N = 204). Results Results of multivariate regression indicated that the CIM time was affected by parents' perception and equal between girls and boys (32 min) despite the fact that parents' fear of crime against girls was higher than boys'. The CIM range was highly dependent on built-environmental characteristics and boys' CIM range (216 m) was greater than girls’ (159 m). Conclusions Vertical development of housing, parents' fear and sex differences were the most important factors in reducing the CIM.
... In the UK (Department for Transport, 2019a, b) and some other developed countries including Australia (van der Ploeg et al., 2008), Canada (Gray et al., 2014) and the United States (McDonald et al., 2011), more children than ever before are driven to and from school by car, and fewer walk, cycle or use public transport. The prevalence of car use for school journeys is much higher among children compared to adolescents owing to greater use of buses and public transport during adolescence (Department for Transport, 2019a, b). ...
Article
Introduction: The aims of this study were to assess associations between car use for school journeys in early childhood and car use for school journeys in later childhood and adolescence, (ii) determine whether an income gradient to habitual car use for school journeys and overweight/obesity exists in the UK, and (iii) assess the extent to which habitual car use for school journeys through childhood and into adolescence is associated with overweight/obesity in adolescence. Methods: Data is from sweep three, four, five and six of the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Subjects consisted of 8494 children (4251 girls). Stature and body mass were assessed at age 5 and 14 years and children were categorised as normal weight or overweight/obesity. Commute mode to and from school was parent/carer reported at age 5, 7, 11 and 14 years and habitual car use for school journeys was determined. Family income at age 5 years was determined using equivalised household income. Adjusted logistic and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results: Car use for school journeys at age 5 was positively associated with car use for school journeys at age 7, 11 and 14 years (p<0.001). Family income at child age 5 was inversely associated with overweight/obese at age 5 and 14 years and positively associated with habitual car use (p<0.001). Habitual car use for school journeys was not associated with overweight/obesity at age 14 years. Conclusions: Car use for school journeys in early childhood is positively associated with car use for school journeys in later childhood and adolescence. Children living in the highest income households have the lowest rates of overweight/obesity, and there is an income gradient to habitual car use for school journeys. Habitual car use for school journeys through childhood and into adolescence is not positively associated with overweight/obesity in adolescence.
... Second, as in other studies (McDonald et al., 2011, we found that both living in a neighbourhood with a higher socio-economic status and being employed (both parents) have a negative relationship with AST. The main hypothesis for this result lies in mobility habits: more affluent people can afford a car and use it to go to work and drive their children to school on their way (McMillan, 2007). ...
Article
Introduction Walking to schools has declined with the rise of automobility, particularly in developing countries, due to fast urbanization. Conversely, Active School Travel (AST) benefits children’s physical health and contributes to their emotional health. Purpose This cross-sectional study has developed a new model for analyzing children's AST behavior with environmental, household, and child factors, as well as exploring the relationships between children's AST and emotional perception among children residing in low and high socio-economic neighbourhoods in Bandar Abbas, Iran. Methods Out of 1421 questionnaires distributed among school students (grades 1 to 6) and their parents, 1001 questionnaires qualified to be used for further analysis. Smart-PLS and SPSS were used to analyse the data. Results Traveling by private car (34.5%) and carpool (26.2%) respectively were the most common mode of commuting to school. Safety problems, traffic issues, and distance, respectively, were the most common barriers reported by parents for AST. Higher perceived crime and traffic safety by parents was associated with a higher level of AST. Meanwhile, parent’s perceived barriers to active commuting to schools decreased the chance of AST for children. Parents who reported having higher collective efficacy in their neighbourhoods positively affected the level of their child’s AST. Model results suggest that using AST modes positively correlates with children's positive emotional perceptions. Conclusion AST should be incorporated into school plans as a viable health promotion strategy. In addition, attempts to increase AST among children should emphasize improving safety and distance perceptions to adjust children's habits and tendency towards being driven to school every day.
... The increased distance between home and school, along with the decline in active commuting, also leads to increased traffic from private driving and school busing, which accounts for 10%-14% of morning rush-hour traffic (McDonald et al. 2011) and increased pollution. The additional traffic intensifies parental safety concerns related to traffic and student active commuting (Nelson et al. 2008;PBIC 2010;McDonald and Aalborg 2009;CDC 2005;Mendoza et al. 2014). ...
Article
Distance between a student residence and their school is as a major barrier for active commuting while trends in school siting and residential development have increased this distance. This study conducted a cost–benefit analysis of increased thoroughfare connectivity around schools in a representative US school system. A novel metric for organizations to rank schools by their walkability is introduced, and then network optimization techniques located the new thoroughfare connections that maximized student walking and minimized the length of the new connection. The increased time of physical activity from student walking and the cost savings from busing fewer students were compared to the financial construction costs of the new thoroughfares. Results from this case study show that recent development trends are antithetical to student active commuting, that short and inexpensive new thoroughfares can increase the number of student walkers and their physical activity and reduce busing costs, traffic, accidents, and pollution. This work calls for a collaboration between planners, school officials, and developers to design neighborhoods around schools that improve the health of the community and its children.
... Driving children to school is often cited as a matter of convenienceas parents may save time in the morning getting their children ready for school by driving, or may drop them off on the way to work or another destination (Faulkner et al., 2010). However, nearly 40% of parents indicate that they return home after dropping their child (ren) after school, suggesting that convenience of driving may be a modifiable perception for many (McDonald et al., 2011). Research has suggested parents utilize driving to school as time to spend with their children (McDonald and Aalborg, 2009); however, bonding with children can occur during walking with the child to school. ...
Article
Introduction Parent attitudes and perceptions of convenience are primary determinants of children's mode of school travel. Parents may favor the use of active transportation to school, such as walking or biking, if supportive neighborhood normative behaviors are present. Methods A series of logistic regressions with marginal effects were conducted to investigate whether seeing others, talking or waving, seeing kids walk alone, or seeing kids walk with adults along the way to school modified the impact of parent attitudes and reported ease of driving a car on active school travel among parents of children in grades K-6 (N = 390) in Phoenix, AZ (USA). Results The likelihood of using active transportation to school was positively associated with favorable parent attitudes, and the odds of using active travel modes differed less than 10% with the presence of neighborhood normative behaviors and low or high attitudes. As reported ease of driving increased, the likelihood of using active transportation to school decreased. The presence of neighborhood norms did not change the negative trajectory, but differences existed when ease of driving was low compared to high. The probability of using active transportation to school when ease of driving was low compared to high was greater when participants saw others (29.3%to, 32.8%from), talked/waved to others (11.0%to, 0%from), saw kids walking alone (28.6%to, 35.7%from), and saw kids walking with adults (27.8%to, 51.5%from). Conclusions Echoing prior work, parent attitudes and perceptions of convenience of driving remain influential determinants of children's active school travel behavior. This study provides preliminary evidence on the influences of psychosocial support within the neighborhood to promote active transportation to school. The impact of supportive normative behaviors during the school journey should be considered in active transportation to school interventions, particularly in conjunction with efforts to change parent perceptions of ease of driving.
... The average one-way distance for staff was 20.49 miles. It was assumed that parents drove 5.5 miles one-way to meetings, consistent with estimates of the average U.S. home to school commute (McDonald et al., 2011). ...
Article
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the costs and cost-effectiveness of a school-based training intervention delivered at varying levels of intensity with adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Costs were examined in relation to post-treatment and 6-month follow-up effects of the Challenging Horizons Program (CHP), a training intervention for adolescents with ADHD. Method: A total of 326 middle-school students (71% male; 77% White) with ADHD were randomized to an after-school version of the CHP (CHP-AS), a less-intensive mentoring version (CHP-M), or routine community care. Detailed time logs were maintained throughout the study and were used to estimate costs associated with each condition. Student grade point average (GPA) and parent-rated ADHD symptoms and organization skills were collected at post-treatment and 6-month follow-up. Results: The cost analysis revealed that CHP-AS was more costly per student than CHP-M, both in terms of overall costs and direct expenses to the school. However, CHP-AS was less costly per hour of intervention provided to the youth than CHP-M. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios revealed that CHP-M may be the more cost-effective option for post-treatment effects, yet CHP-AS may be the more cost-effective option in the long term for sustained gains in organization skills and GPA. Conclusions: This study provides stakeholders important information to make decisions regarding allocation of finite monetary resources to meet their prioritized goals.
... 11 Over the last 50 years, there has been a decline in AST in North America with a corresponding increase in automobile use. 12,13 Only a third of Canadian children use AST, with prevalence appearing to decrease after age 10. 14 There has been substantial attention on the correlates of AST in the last decade. Within the socio-ecological model, influences on AST extend from personal-level factors to built environment and institutional/policy factors. ...
Article
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Walking and bicycling to school (active school transportation, AST) has been in decline for decades in North America and globally with the rise of automobility. This cross-sectional study estimated associations between the built environment and AST in seven Canadian communities. We observed the travel behaviours of almost 118,000 students at 552 schools. Using beta regression, we modeled the proportion of children using AST, considering built environment and social environment factors around schools. Across all schools, the average proportion of children using AST was 54.3% (SD 18.9%), with variability among cities from a low of 39.5% (SD 22.1%) in Laval, Quebec to 69.7% (SD 18.1%) in Montreal, Quebec. Overall, several modifiable road design features were associated with AST, including the presence of school crossing guards, cycling infrastructure, Walk Score® and traffic signal density. There was variability in the directionality and statistical significance of associations with design variables across cities, suggesting that the local context and directed local interventions are important to support AST. Natural experiment studies are necessary to examine local approaches related to the built environment to increase AST and ensure appropriate new policy and program interventions are developed.
... The problem is that while childhood bicycling is seemingly as safe as ever, the rate of bicycling among children and adolescents has declined dramatically since the 1960s. Currently, only 0.7% of adolescents bike to school, and walking has largely been replaced by other modes of transportation (McDonald et al., 2011). Reduced daily physical activity can result in negative health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes (Pucher and Dijkstra, 2003). ...
Article
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Children who are too young to drive and adults who are unable to drive can represent a significant transportation burden, one typically shouldered by family members, i.e., “family chauffeur-associated-burdens” (Family CABs). This research examines how one’s experience chauffeuring family members influences support for strategies to address family chauffeuring burdens. The research also examines if one’s own experience chauffeuring family members affects perceptions of the possibility that they may reach a point at which they are no longer able to drive, and potentially become a transportation burden to others. Descriptive statistics and linear and logistic regression models of a household survey ( n = 349) demonstrate the significance of demographics in the type and extent of chauffeuring burdens. Chauffeur youth and money spent chauffeuring are each positively-correlated with the desire to move to a more walkable place to address chauffeuring burdens. Alternately, youth and being male are each positively-correlated with favoring technological solutions (e.g., autonomous vehicles) to address chauffeuring burdens. One’s own experience as a chauffeur does not significantly influence perceptions of eventually becoming a transportation burden for others. Women are more likely to prefer moving to a more walkable location and relying on family or friends if they are no longer able to drive, while men prefer the idea of relying on autonomous vehicles if they lose the ability to drive. Findings from this work can guide appropriate planning, policy, and technological responses to chauffeuring burdens.
... We found that the prevalence of walking (84.2%) and cycling (15.5%) for active transport was higher compared to United States (10.7% for walking and 1.1% for cycling) [46] and Canada (25% for walking and 6% for cycling) [47]. However, in comparison to European countries like Denmark [48], Finland [49] and Switzerland [50], the prevalence of active commuting in Latin American youth is low: In these countries more than 70% of children and adolescents walk or cycle to school. ...
Article
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Background: Evidence has shown that active transportation decreases obesity rates, but considering walking or cycling as separate modes could provide additional information on the health benefits in adolescents. This study aimed to examine the associations between walking and cycling as form active transportation and obesity indicators in Latin American adolescents. Methods: Population-based study with 671 adolescents (mean age: 15.9 [standard deviation: 0.8] years) from eight countries participating in the Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health/Estudio Latino Americano Nutrition y Salud (ELANS). Walking and cycling for active transportation were measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire long version. Body mass index, waist circumference, neck circumference, and relative fat mass were used as obesity indicators. Associations were estimated using logistic regression models for the pooled data adjusted for country, sex, age, socio-economic levels, race/ethnicity, leisure-time physical activity and energy intake. Results: Mean time spent walking and cycling was 22.6 (SD: 33.1) and 5.1 (SD: 24.1) min/day, respectively. The median values were 12.8 (IQR: 4.2; 25.7) and 0 (IQR: 0; 6.2) for walking and cycling. Participants reporting ≥ 10 min/week of walking or cycling for active transportation were 84.2% and 15.5%, respectively. Costa Rica (94.3% and 28.6%) showed the highest prevalence for walking and cycling, respectively, while Venezuela (68.3% and 2.4%) showed the lowest prevalence. There was no significant association between walking for active transportation and any obesity indicator. In the overall sample, cycling for ≥ 10 min/week was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of overweight/obesity based on BMI (OR: 0.86; 95%CI: 0.88; 0.94) and waist circumference (OR: 0.90; 95%CI: 0.83; 0.97) adjusted for country, sex, age, socio-economic level, race/ethnicity, leisure-time physical activity and energy intake compared to cycling for < 10 min/week. There were no significant associations between cycling for active transportation and neck circumference as well as relative fat mass. Conclusions: Cycling for active transportation was negatively associated with obesity indicators, especially body mass index and waist circumference. Programs for promoting cycling for active transportation could be a feasible strategy to tackle the high obesity rates in adolescents in Latin America.
... This decline in active commuting to schools also leads to increased traffic from private driving and school busing, which accounts for 10-14% of morning rush-hour traffic (McDonald et al., 2011), and increased pollution. The additional traffic intensifies parental safety concerns related to traffic and student active commuting. ...
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Student active commuting to school is an important component to student achievement and student health, yet this form of physical activity has significantly declined in the U.S. Distance between the school and student residence is often reported as a barrier for student walking, thereby increasing street and trail connectivity between and within residential developments and schools could foster student walking. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential benefits of increased thoroughfare connectivity on student walking within school walking zones. This study conducts a cost-benefit analysis of increased thoroughfare connectivity around elementary and middle schools in a U.S. school system that serves sixty thousand students. Benefits, which include the increased time of physical activity from student walking and the potential cost-savings to a school system if they had fewer students to bus to school, are compared to the financial costs of the new connections. Advanced network optimization techniques were applied to several suburban and rural schools from a representative the school system to locate the optimal new thoroughfare connections that maximize student walking to a school and minimize the length of the new thoroughfare. Results from this case study showed that short and inexpensive new thoroughfares could increase the potential number of student active commuters and provide a significant increase of physical activity for those potential student walkers. This work can foster the integration of student walking and student health in residential planning decisions around schools.
... One major contributor to peak-hour travel demand is school trips (22,23). Previous work has identified parental safety concerns as a factor increasing car mode choice for this trip (8). ...
Article
During the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders in conjunction with working from home, school closures, and event cancellations resulted in a decrease in travel demand. Under normal circumstances, these activities are components of trip chains and utilize a multimodal transport network. The overall performance of the network can be traced through delays in the bus system as buses capture both changes in ridership and fluctuations in mixed traffic conditions. This paper explores the hypothesis that resumption of a single component in trip chains (i.e., school reopening) is sufficient for a measurable change in transport system performance. This study used school reopening in Sydney, Australia as a case study to explore whether school-related trips affected bus system performance directly with higher student patronage or indirectly with heavier road congestion from parental car trips. Both stop dwell times and differences in delays between successive stops were used as bus service indicators. Dwell times reflect the travel demand for buses and delay differences capture local changes in service reliability. We found that increase in ridership had limited impacts on bus punctuality. However, the level of local bus performance worsened after schools reopened, and the effect was more pronounced in commercial areas in the afternoon when schools ended, suggesting secondary trip purposes such as leisure and shopping in addition to school pick-ups. This study revealed the interaction between different trip purposes during the postshutdown period and threw light on changes in travel behavior patterns as travel restrictions were relaxed in pandemic circumstances.
... En nuestro estudio el 43,4% de los adolescentes no utiliza el DA para asistir a la escuela, esto puede deberse a varios factores como falta de costumbres, barreras geográficas o de conectividad que hacen más difícil este tipo de desplazamiento como se ha visto en otro estudio (29), pero es similar a otro estudio latinoamericano donde el 43% de los estudiantes no utilizaba este tipo de desplazamiento (17). A pesar del impacto positivo en la salud, varios estudios muestran que este tipo de desplazamiento ha disminuido notablemente en algunos países (30). ...
Article
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Introducción: La actividad física insuficiente es uno de los principales problemas de salud pública a nivel global. Los patrones de conducta en los adolescentes, y el estilo de vida, podrían afectar su salud física y mental. Objetivos: El objetivo de este estudio fue conocer los patrones de actividad física y los comportamientos sedentarios en la población de adolescentes a nivel nacional. Materiales y métodos: Estudio cuantitativo, observacional, descriptivo de corte transverso, se aplicó el cuestionario de la Encuesta Global de Salud Escolar en adolescentes escolares del octavo y noveno grados del 3° ciclo de la Educación Escolar Básica y al 1°, 2° y 3° cursos de la Educación Media de 49 escuelas y colegios del país. En este estudio fueron incluidos 1.803 estudiantes de edades comprendidas entre 13 a 15 años. Resultados: El 27% de los adolescentes de 13 a 15 años de Paraguay son activos, siendo significativamente mayor en hombres que en mujeres (p-valor 0,000) y el 22% son inactivos con mayor frecuencia en mujeres que en hombres (p-valor 0,000). Se observo que el 33,5% de los adolescentes tenían comportamiento sedentario, el 43,4% de los adolescentes no utilizo el desplazamiento activo para asistir a la escuela. Los adolescentes que no participaron de las clases de educación física en la escuela representaron el15,6%. Conclusión: Si bien en un 27% los adolescentes de 13 a 15 años son activos, es preocupante el gran porcentaje de adolescentes inactivos y con comportamiento sedentario.
... 13 Unfortunately, a worldwide decline in ATS has been observed. 14 The prevalence of ATS among children aged 5-14 years old declined from 47.7% in 1969 to 12.7% in 2009 in the USA, 15 and from 44.2%-57.7% in 1971 to 21.1%-25.5% during 1999-2003 in Australia. 16 Also, the proportion of children in Scotland walking, scooting or cycling to school has slightly decreased from 45.8% to 41.0% in the last 10 years. ...
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Objectives Active travel to school (ATS)-associated factors had been studied in some developed countries but rarely in China. We studied the associated factors of ATS at individual, parental and built environment domains in northeast China. Design and participants A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 4–6 grade students in 2017. Sociodemographic features and information of parents were collected using questionnaires, and SuperMap (a geographical information system software) was used to catch built environment features. Logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between multilevel factors and ATS. Results Our study sample comprised 3670 primary school students aged from 8 to 15 (boys=51.0%, ATS=48.8%). Perceived to be fat (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.55, p<0.05), feeling easy to walk for a short distance (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.20, p<0.05), mother unemployed (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.06, p<0.05), higher land use mix (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.37, p<0.001) and higher density of public transport stations (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.37, p<0.05) were positively associated with increased possibility of ATS, while higher household annual income (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.83, p<0.05) and possession of private vehicles (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.69, p<0.001) were negatively associated with possibility of ATS. Conclusions The significant factors associated with ATS were at every examined level, which implies multilevel interventions are needed to encourage ATS. Further interventions could focus on the children’s willingness to lead students to opt for healthy behaviours, and children from wealthier families should be encouraged to choose ATS. Also, the government should improve built environment walkability so as to encourage ATS.
... Permission or ability of children to activity without the parental presence is children's independent mobility (CIM) that is focused on outdoor environments (Hillman et al., 1990). CIM has declined in many countries, whose evidence can be found in studies conducted in Australia (Salmon et al., 2005), Germany and England (Shaw et al., 2013), Canada (Buliung et al., 2009) and the United States (McDonald et al., 2011). The declined CIM has not only reduced children's Physical Activity (PA), but has also caused psychological, cognitive, and emotional harms (Datar et al., 2013). ...
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Studies of reduced children's outdoor activity show that home range was the most important place for Children's Independent Mobility (CIM). The relationship between the characteristics of home range with CIM was investigated. But the research hypothesis is that CIM was not limited alone to the affordance of the environment around the home, and housing characteristics also influenced the child's tendency toward independent mobility. So the question is what is the relationship between housing characteristics and CIM? Physical, residential and neighborhood characteristics of housing were evaluated in relation to the CIM range. The research method was public participation in GIS (PPGIS) in order to achieve behavioral maps. The study was conducted with the participation of 360 children aged 12–14 and their parents in the city of Ilam, Iran. Each child, completed behavior maps in the ArcGIS v.10.1 with researcher help and housing characteristics questionnaire with parental assistance. The results of correlation and linear regression tests show that the relationship between housing characteristics and CIM. Reducing open and safe spaces along with reducing attractiveness and playfulness in housing areas have been the most important factors in reducing CIM. This result has been shown through three factors of physical, residential and neighborhood characteristics and fifteen variables.
... However, the prevalence of AC is low and seems to be decreasing in the last decades in several countries. For example, it decreased in China from 83.8% in 2002 to 54.3% in 2012 [18] and from 48% in 1969 to 13% in 2009 in the USA [19], with similar results in other developed countries such as Canada [20], Australia [21], Ireland [22], Spain [23], and Portugal [24]. ...
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Active commuting to and from school can be an important contribution to improving health in adolescents. This study aimed to analyze the influence of multilevel variables of the ecological model in the active commuting of a representative sample of Portuguese adolescents. The 2018 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children questionnaire was applied to 5695 adolescents with an average age of 15.5 years old (SD ± 1.8), 53.9% of whom were girls. The associations were studied by applying chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression models. In this study, 36.5% of the participants reported walking or cycling to school. Active commuting to school was directly associated with age (OR = 1.2; p < 0.05), strong family support (OR = 1.2; p < 0.05), a moderate to low financial level of the family (OR = 1.3; p < 0.05) and living near the school (OR = 2.4; p < 0.05). The results revealed that an adolescent’s choice to travel to and from school using an active mode of transportation increased with strong family support. As a result, promotion campaigns should consider the adolescent’s family context.
... For example, between 1969 and 2009, the percentage of children walking or cycling to school dropped from 47.7% to 12.7%. For the trip home from school, walking and cycling actually increased, but the use of private vehicles also increased, from 12.2% to 45.3% (McDonald et al., 2011). ...
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Cycling has been promoted as a healthy, economical, and environmentally friendly mode of travel; however, its use has been hampered by a lack of safe infrastructure. This study revisits the political economy theorems of Adam Smith, Joseph Stiglitz, and Ronald Coase, to better guide government investment decisions on cycling infrastructure and to illustrate the trade-offs between the investment in cycling and automotive infrastructure. When improving infrastructure, there is no perfect policy, so a clear statement should be made to give the public a better understanding. This paper highlights that every road user should consider the difficulties of all other users on the road. Policy makers should consider cyclists’ difficulties and try to find an investment solution that maximizes both cyclists’ and car drivers’ benefits. Putting cycle paths on the side of roads constrains the value of both bicycles and cars; separate cycling paths should be considered. Political economy theorems include moral, wellbeing, and social costs that can help policy makers make the best investments in cycling infrastructure..
... However, the percentage of U.S. youth who cycle to school has dropped. In 1969, 47.7% of children (aged 5 to 14) walked or biked to school, whereas in 2009, only 12.7% did so (McDonald et al., 2011). ...
Article
Recreational activities are uniquely suited for the implementation of a positive youth development (PYD) approach, as they create space for youths’ physical, psychological, and social development. This may be especially true for vulnerable youth who face additional risk factors such as single parent homes and living in low-income communities. Momentum Bicycle Clubs (MBC), based in Greenville, South Carolina, use noncompetitive recreational bicycling as a mechanism to facilitate group mentoring opportunities for high-risk youth. MBC engage youth with their community while providing opportunities for leadership, building positive relationships, exercise, and learning new skills. This exploratory project’s purpose is to better understand the bicycle as a PYD mechanism through group mentoring by studying MBC program design, processes, and outcomes. Researchers identified three primary themes that indicated the bicycle provided youth opportunities to gain responsibility, confidence, and improved health. Sub themes provided additional context. For example, youth gained responsibility for their bikes and related equipment, as well as their individual and the group’s safety. MBC is an example of using individual specialized recreation equipment as an effective PYD mechanism that allows the program to meet more PYD desired outcomes than traditional programs. The bicycle rides differentiate the program dynamic from other PYD programs as the mentors are also group participants. This allows the mentors to share in the experience and role model behavior, which may foster stronger group identity and cohesiveness. Year-round asset intensive programs of this nature have management challenges, including sufficient resources (e.g., bicycle storage and maintenance), mentors willing to ride bicycles, as well as ensuring youth safety while riding. The resource challenges are met through extensive partnerships with government, nonprofit, and commercial agencies, which has also benefitted the program through a wider variety of mentors, adult role models, internship opportunities for the youth, and community knowledge about MBC. Safe bicycling is accomplished through extensive training, locating the clubs in areas with access to low traffic streets, and a 20-mile paved multiuse path. Lastly, since it is difficult to have meaningful conversations while riding, mentors must build in time before and after rides and at planned stops to facilitate the most meaningful mentor-mentee relationships.
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It is widely believed that school runs generate urban traffic congestion. In this paper, we present credible evidence for this causal link using unique panel data that monitor traffic conditions in Beijing from 2015 to 2016. We adopt a triple difference strategy that utilizes three variations in traffic flows on the roads by school days and school holidays, by roads near and further away from schools, and by hours of school runs and other hours. We find that school runs increase the probability of road congestion by 4.5 percentage points. The impact is larger in the morning than that in the afternoon. Moreover, traffic congestion is more severe around schools that are larger, better, public rather than private, in more expensive neighborhoods, or with no student accommodation. Further analyses reveal that staggered school hours and provision of school buses can reduce congestion and improve social welfare.
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Research continues to reveal the benefits of nonmotorized travel modes such as walking and bicycling. Therefore, identification of the factors that nurture these activities is essential in developing sustainable urban planning policies and designs. Among those factors are the built environment characteristics of the place of residence. To date, research on the role of the built environment in nonmotorized travel has focused on neighborhood-level factors. However, people do not stay within their neighborhoods; they live and work at a regional scale and travel to various destinations and distances each day. Nonetheless, little is known about the impact of built environment factors at larger spatial scales on nonmotorized travel behavior. Guided by the principles of the ecological model of behavior, this study investigates the role of the built environment at hierarchical spatial scales in nonmotorized travel behavior. Multilevel Structural Equation Models have been developed to comprehensively examine the complex links between the built environment and individuals’ nonmotorized travel. Findings indicate that built environment factors at multiple spatial scales can influence nonmotorized travel behavior. Thus, to promote walking and bicycling, more effective policies are those that include multilevel built environment and land use interventions and consider the overall physical form of urban areas.
Chapter
This chapter examines possible low-speed urban futures. It reiterates the importance of ‘slow cities’ in creating a healthy and sustainable future, and asks whether our obsession with increasing speeds might at least partly explain the inadequate responses to the global challenges facing humanity. Conquering our societal addiction to fast travel in the city represents an enormous challenge, and to help meet this we examine the positive vision of child-friendly cities. A focus on children and their well-being can help build consensus, lifting debates beyond narrow self-interest and encouraging more collective and long-term responses. We show how child-friendly cities must be slower cities, and slower cities are child-friendly cities, and both are healthier for us all. There follows discussion of three opportunities for change in the future: the re-imagining of goals, attitudes and outcomes. Ten key ideas from this book are then presented as the basis for a ‘Manifesto for 21st Century Slow Cities’. The chapter concludes with a message from the future written by a 30-year-old in the year 2050, thanking her parents’ generation for their efforts in creating slower, healthier, sustainable and child-friendly cities.
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Active commuting (AC) provides numerous health benefits and is one way to improve physical activity in children and adolescents. Boys are more likely to use active transport modes than girls. Girls and boys benefit differently from interventions that promote AC. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the effects of interventions on girls and boys and to appraise the extent to which previous studies have taken sex/gender into account. Eleven electronic databases were searched to identify all relevant randomized and non-randomized controlled trials based on a priori defined eligibility criteria. Two independent reviewers screened the literature for eligibility and assessed risk of bias. Semiquantitative analyses were conducted to evaluate the effects of intervention effects by taking sex/gender aspects into account. To evaluate sex/gender considerations in interventional studies, a recently developed sex/gender checklist was applied. Twelve studies were included that examined intervention effects on AC in girls and boys. Three intervention studies showed significant effects in increasing AC, with one study favoring girls, one favoring boys, and another focusing on a single sex/gender (only girls). According to the checklist, the overall sex/gender rating highlighted a lack of information in sex/gender consideration. Studies with and without significant effects indicated no differences in the sex/gender checklist. The results indicate that sex/gender is not considered adequately in primary interventional research on AC. To evaluate the effectiveness of intervention in boys and girls, detailed analyses of sex/gender are required, and better reporting about sex/gender-specific intervention content is necessary. In future health research to promote AC, sex/gender should be systematically taken into account.
Article
Problem, research strategy, and findings Transportation equity research addresses questions of participation and planning process or the distribution of transportation’s benefits and burdens. This work largely elides issues related to youth and student travel. Existing work on school trip mode choice does not engage deeply with the equity implications of its findings. Education equity researchers identify the abstract notion of choice as equity enhancing but do not engage with the realities of disparate transportation resources and infrastructure. In this review essay, we articulate the contours of transportation equity, youth travel, and school choice research. We use emerging perspectives on “mobility justice” to frame the issues and provide vocabulary that can help bring education and transportation together in planners’ everyday work. Takeaway for practice A mobility justice framework encourages critical thought and action to address the root causes of inequities. Our conclusions make three contributions to research and practice: 1) challenging school district leaders to think about choice systems designed for access to schools, not just access to information about available options; 2) clarifying the broader implications of school choice by refusing to look away from the racial implications of forecasts; and 3) elucidating the need for a regional perspective.
Article
Purpose: To examine the temporal trends of accelerometer-based total daily sedentary time (ST) and self-reported domain-specific sedentary behavior (SB) on weekdays and weekends in Spanish children. Method: A total of 560 (50.53% girls) children (4th graders) in 2011/12 from 23 Spanish schools and 462 (48.70% girls) children (4th graders) in 2017/18 from 19 schools across Cadiz participated. Hip-worn accelerometers and questionnaires were used to assess total daily ST and self-reported time in SB modalities, respectively. Results: The objectively measured total daily ST tended to increase in boys on weekdays and weekends. Time spent watching television (TV) decreased during the week and weekend days, while time surfing on the internet increased on weekdays and weekends. Playing video-games increased in boys during the weekends. The trend to increase the time spent on educational activities with a computer during the weekdays and weekends was accompanied by a reduction of the same activities without using a computer. There was a trend to increase reading for fun, talking on the phone and total time in other SB, on weekdays and weekends in boys and girls. Conclusion(s): Spanish boys tended to increase objectively measured total daily ST. Moreover, SB modalities have changed in recent years in children, replacing TV viewing by computer use for both educational and non-educational purposes, as well as by the use of smartphones or other sedentary activities that does not imply the presence of a screen. These findings highlight the need to promote interventions to decrease total daily ST and reduce SB activities.
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Aim: To undertake a comprehensive review of the best available evidence related to risk factors for child pedestrian motor vehicle collision (PMVC), as well as identification of established and emerging prevention strategies. Methods: Articles on risk factors were identified through a search of English language publications listed in Medline, Embase, Transport, SafetyLit, Web of Science, CINHAL, Scopus and PsycINFO within the last 30 years (~1989 onwards). Results: This state-of-the-art review uses the road safety Safe System approach as a new lens to examine three risk factor domains affecting child pedestrian safety (built environment, drivers and vehicles) and four cross-cutting critical issues (reliable collision and exposure data, evaluation of interventions, evidence-based policy and intersectoral collaboration). Conclusions: Research conducted over the past 30 years has reported extensively on child PMVC risk factors. The challenge facing us now is how to move these findings into action and intervene to reduce the child PMVC injury and fatality rates worldwide.
Technical Report
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Coordinated ramp metering (CRM) is a critical component of smart freeway corridors that rely on real-time traffic data from ramps and freeway mainline to improve decision making by the motorists and Traffic Management Center (TMC) personnel. CRM uses an algorithm that considers real-time traffic volumes on freeway mainline and ramps and then adjusts the metering rates on the ramps accordingly for optimal flow along the entire corridor. Improving capacity through smart corridors is less costly and easier to deploy than freeway widening due to high costs associated with right-of-way acquisition and construction. Nevertheless, conversion to smart corridors still represents a sizable investment for public agencies. However, in the U.S. there have been limited evaluations of smart corridors in general, and CRM in particular, based on real operational data. This project examined the recent Smart Corridor implementation on Interstate 80 (I-80) in the Bay Area and State Route 99 (SR-99, SR99) in Sacramento based on travel time reliability measures, efficiency measures, and before-and-after safety evaluation using the Empirical Bayes (EB) approach. As such, this evaluation represents the most complete before-and-after evaluation of such systems. The reliability measures include buffer index, planning time, and measures from the literature that account for both the skew and width of the travel time distribution. For efficiency, the study estimates the ratio of vehicle miles traveled vs. vehicle hour traveled. The research contextualizes before-and-after comparisons for efficiency and reliability measures through similar measures from another corridor (i.e., the control corridor of I-280 in District 4 and I-5 in District 3) from the same region, which did not have CRM implemented. The results show there has been animprovement in freeway operation based on efficiency data. Post-CRM implementation, travel time reliability measures do not show a similar improvement. The report also provides a counterfactual estimate of expected crashes in the post-implementation period, which can be compared with the actual number of crashes in the “after” period to evaluate effectiveness.
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Active school commuting provides a convenient opportunity to promote physical activity for children, while also reducing car dependence and its associated environmental impacts. School-home distance is a critical factor in school commuting mode choice, and longer distances have been proven to increase the likelihood of driving. In this study, we combine open-access data acquired from Baidu Map application programming interface (API) with GIS (Geographic Information System) technology to estimate the extent to which the present school-home distances can be reduced for public middle schools in Jianye District, Nanjing, China. Based on the policies for school planning and catchment allocation, we conduct a scenario analysis of school catchment reassignment whereby residences are reassigned to the nearest school. The results show that, despite the government's 'attending nearby school' policy, some students in the study area are subjected to excess school-home distances, and the overall journey-to-school trips can be reduced by 20.07%, accounting for 330.8 km. This excess distance indicates the extent to which the need for vehicle travel can be potentially reduced in favor of active school commuting and a low-carbon lifestyle. Therefore, these findings provide important insights into school siting and school catchment assignment policies seeking to facilitate active school commuting, achieve educational spatial equity and reduce car dependence.
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One innovative strategy to support child-friendly cities is street-based interventions that provide safe, vehicle-free spaces for children to play and move about freely. School streets are one such innovation involving closing streets around elementary schools to vehicular traffic to improve children’s safety as they come and go from school while providing opportunities for children to play and socialize on the street. Launching these initiatives in communities dominated by automobiles is enormously challenging and little is known about why these interventions are successfully launched in some places but not others. As part of a larger research project called Levelling the Playing Fields, two School Street initiatives were planned for the 2021–2022 school year; one initiative was successfully launched in Kingston, ON, while the second initiative failed to launch in Montreal, QC. Using a critical realist evaluation methodology, this paper documents the contextual elements and key mechanisms that enabled and constrained the launch of these School Streets in these cities, through document analysis and key informant interviews. Our results suggest that municipal and school support for the initiative are both imperative to establishing legitimacy and collaborative governance, both of which were necessary for a successful launch.
Article
The distance between home and school considerably influences the probability of children’s walking or biking to school (termed Active School Travel) which is a significant opportunity to promote their daily physical activity. This study investigated the shortest routes from home to school of primary school students and how the route distance can be shortened at the household level in Nanjing, China. We found that gated urban form results in significantly roundabout routes to school. In 2016, China issued the Opening and Prohibiting Gated Communities policy, subsequently the Healthy Cities Initiative, etc. which may leverage cities towards more healthy and sustainable transformations. In the light of these policies, we hypothesised that providing through access as management option, and opening new entries as reengineering option, would shorten school travel distance with minor costs. The scenario analysis shows that such management and reengineering adaptions would provide shorter and potentially less exposed routes for students. This study identifies how the existent urban form works against active school travel, and proposes how salutogenic pathways may be created in the gated urban form. The study, with transferability to other cities, can assist urban designers and policy makers in piloting urban (re)form incrementally and pragmatically to prompt active travel to schools.
Article
The decline in driver’s licensure among teenagers in the U.S. in recent decades has led some observers to speculate that the newest generation of adults will be less car dependent than those that preceded them. Previous studies have identified a variety factors that may explain the decline, including graduated licensing policies and economic conditions. This paper delves beneath these trends with the goal of generating a deeper understanding of what is going on with teenagers and their travel. We explore what teenagers think about driving and its alternatives through in-depth interviews with 20 high school students and their parents in Davis, California, an unusually bicycling-oriented community by U.S. standards. Although bicycling was an important mode of travel for the teenagers when they were younger, all had acquired or planned to acquire a driver’s license at the time of the interview. The reasons teenagers cite for needing a driver’s license are more practical than social, though the ability to socialize with friends is an important benefit of driving. Both teenagers and their parents liked the independence that having a license brings, though both expressed some fears about their driving – both the danger driving poses to themselves as well as the danger their driving poses to others. Teenagers and their parents saw driving as inevitable, as a natural step towards adulthood.
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Results: The findings of this research showed that being overweight is a concerning issue even in a small-sized and lightly populated city such as Bandar-Turkmen, Iran. Most students (90%) did not perform the required minimum daily activity when commuting to school. Further, overweight could be found even among those students who walked more than one hour to commute to school. The contribution of walking to school to the MVPA of overweight students was found to be low on school days and throughout the year. Counterintuitively, the situation is even worse for nonoverweight students. Conclusion: The population of overweight students was more active compared to nonoverweight students in general, although they still suffered from excess weight since walking distances were short and not all days were school days. Thus, encouraging students to walk to school is necessary, while it is not sufficient alone as a single measure. Moreover, we recommend that all students should perform extra PA at home, school, or other places, on both school days and all other days of the year.
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Active school transportation (AST) benefits children’s health. Social factors, including low-income, visible minority status, and immigration have been associated with more AST. However, the mechanism by which they influence AST is not well understood, nor is their interaction with built environment features. This cross-sectional study examined associations between area-level social factors (material deprivation, ethnic concentration, proportion recent immigrants, proportion visible minority), and AST across 105 elementary schools in Toronto, Canada, controlling for multi-dwelling density and Walk Score®. A significant association between proportion recent immigrants and AST was found in adjusted analyses (OR = 1.54, 95 %CI:1.14–2.07, per 10% increase). No significant association was found with other social factors. In analyzing effect modification, social factors appeared to have stronger associations with AST in less walkable environments. This analysis indicates that the influence of the built environment varies across social factors, suggesting the need to account for equity when promoting active travel to school.
Article
BACKGROUND Active transportation to school (ATS) is a component of a whole school approach to health promotion among youth. METHODS Individual- and school-level predictors of ATS were examined using data from parent surveys (N = 11,100) of students in grades 3-8 attending 112 schools in Arizona (United States) administering Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs between 2007 and 2018. Multilevel logistic models were estimated to predict the likelihood of students using active (walking or biking) versus inactive travel (riding bus or car) to and from school, and across distance and school-level income categories. RESULTS Student grade, parent education, asking permission to use ATS, perceived health and school support for ATS, distance, and school income were predictive of ATS. The impact of demographic factors persisted across distances of ½ mile or less and at low- and medium-income schools but diminished as distance and income increased. Asking permission and perceived school support persisted across levels of distance and income, while perceiving ATS as healthy was significant only for distances under 1 mile. CONCLUSIONS SRTS programs should continue promoting health benefits and school support for ATS. SRTS may be particularly effective at low- and medium-income schools and among families living within ½ mile distances.
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Perceived safety remains one of the main barriers for children to participate in active commuting to school (ACS). This ecological study examined the associations between the number of police-reported crimes in school neighborhoods and ACS. The percentage of active travel trips was assessed from a teacher tally survey collected from students across 63 elementary schools that were primarily classified as high-poverty (n = 27). Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to create a detailed measure of police-reported crimes during 2018 and neighborhood covariates that occurred within a one-mile Euclidean buffer of the schools. Statistical analyses included linear fixed effects regressions and negative binomial regressions. In fully-adjusted models, reported crime did not exhibit significant associations with ACS. Medium-poverty schools were indirectly associated with ACS when compared to high- and low-poverty schools in all models (p < 0.05). Connectivity and vehicle ownership were also directly associated with ACS (p < 0.05). Low- and medium-poverty schools were indirectly associated with all types of reported crime when compared to high-poverty schools (p < 0.05). Although reported crime was not associated with school-level ACS, differences in ACS and reported crime do exist across school poverty levels, suggesting a need to develop and promote safe and equitable ACS interventions.
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Background Mode choice of school travel has significantly changed over the past decades. The rate of active school travel (cycling and walking from/to school) has been declining worldwide, causing a series of urban problems. Methods We reviewed 343 publications (2001–2021) from Web of Science and PubMed using bibliometric analysis. Specifically, a first step described the field of school travel using descriptive statistical analysis. A second step applied network analysis to identify existing research clusters and future research directions. Results In this systematic review, the current academic situation was analyzed, such as the most productive areas, journals, and institutions in the field of school travel. The USA is the most productive country with five institutions among the top 15. Journal of Transport & Health is the journal with the highest number of published articles. The co-occurrence network of articles was divided into three clusters: effect factors of active school travel, policy and public transportation, and school bus. A keyword analysis identified vital research topics, methods, and fields. Conclusions There has been a significant increase in research interest in the field of school travel. Institutions from the USA play a vital role in studies of school travel. Exploring the effect factors of active school travel is the hot topic of the domain. Exploring the influence that automated driving that brings will be the domain frontier in this field. It is observed that the field of school travel will be of enormous growth with the multi-subject and multimethod and more academic cooperation.
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This is among the first studies to provide empirical evidence on active school travel rates and determinants before and after the first Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020. We have collected and analyzed primary survey data on the school travel patterns of 472 school-age children in Hanoi, Vietnam. The findings show that the Covid-19 pandemic has been quite detrimental: once schools reopened, the prevalence of active school travel decreased from 53% to less than 31%. Where parents, especially mothers, did not face barriers to motorized travel, they assumed the role of chauffeur. Parents who were more concerned about community infections were more motivated to shift children to motorized modes. Walking was more affected than cycling because it was seen as more likely to lead to physical contact and virus transmission. Active school travel dropped more steeply in urban districts (as opposed to poorer, non-urban districts) and in those areas where home-school distances were the largest. It appears that the most common perceptions around barriers to active school travel have been exacerbated during the pandemic as parents and children adapt to “the new normal”.
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Since the 1981 publication of Perspectives on the Academic Discipline of Physical Education, the history of physical activity has secured a prominent place in the field of kinesiology. Yet, despite encouraging signs of growth, the subdiscipline still remains an undervalued player in the “team scholarship” approach. Without the integration of historical sensibilities in kinesiology’s biggest questions, our understanding of human movement remains incomplete. Historians of physical activity share many “big questions” and “hot topics” with researchers in other domains of kinesiology. Intriguing possibilities for integrating research endeavors between historians and scholars from other domains beckon, particularly as scientists share the historical fascination with exploring the processes of change over time.
Article
Due to immaturity in their physical and cognitive development, children are particularly vulnerable to road traffic injuries as pedestrians. Child pedestrian injury primarily occurs in urban areas, with a significant share at crosswalks. The aim of this study is to explore whether an intervention programme based on the theory of “behaviour spectrums” can improve the street-crossing skills of primary school children. Children were recruited near a local primary school through invitation letters and were randomly divided into two groups: a control group (n = 10, no intervention) and an experimental group (n = 10, intervention). The children in the experimental group received 30−45 min of training. The child participants were asked to wear an eye tracker and performed a crossing test in a real-world street environment; in this test, they were required to successively pass through an unsignalised intersection, an unsignalised T-intersection and a signalised intersection on a designated test route. A high-definition camera was used to record the children’s crossing behaviour, and the Tobii Pro Glasses 2 eye tracker was used to derive indicators of the children’s visual behaviour in the areas of interest (AOIs) in the street. The evaluation was conducted on children’s crossing behaviour in the control group (which received no intervention) and the experimental group (tested at two time points after the intervention: children tested immediately after the intervention and children retested one month after the intervention). The results showed that compared with the control group, the children in the experimental group no longer focused on the small area around the body (e.g., the zebra crossing area) and the area in front of the eyes (e.g., the sidewalk area), which increased their visual attention to the traffic areas on the left and right sides of the zebra crossing; thus, unsafe crossing behaviour was reduced in the experimental group. Compared with the experimental group immediately after the intervention, the intervention effect on some indicators showed a significant weakening trend in the retest of the experimental group one month later. Overall, the results show that an intervention programme based on the theory of “behaviour spectrums” can improve children’s crossing skills. This study provides valuable information for the development and evaluation of intervention programmes to improve children’s street-crossing skills.
Article
Background: A walking school bus (WSB) consists of students and adults walking to and from school and promotes active commuting to school. Self-efficacy (SE) and outcome expectations (OE) are behavioral constructs associated with active commuting to school. The authors sought to assess the impact of a WSB program on child SE, and parent SE, and OE. Methods: The authors conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial of a WSB intervention from 2012 to 2016 among 22 elementary schools serving racially diverse, low-income populations in Houston, TX and Seattle, WA. Surveys collected data from third- to fifth-grade students and their parents, (n = 418) child-parent dyads, before school randomization and at the school year's end. Child surveys included 16 SE items, while parent surveys included 15 SE items and 14 OE items. Scores were averaged from responses ranging from 1 to 3. The authors compared changes in SE and OE between groups over time and accounted for clustering using linear mixed-effects models. Results: The intervention group had increases in child SE of 0.12 points (P = .03), parent SE of 0.11 points (P = .048), and parent OE of 0.09 points (P = .02) compared to controls over time. Conclusions: As hypothesized, the WSB improved child SE, parent SE, and parent OE related to active commuting to school.
Article
Background: School-aged children in the Southeast, compared with other United States of America (US) regions, have significantly lower levels of active transportation to school (ATS). The purpose of this study was to contrast the parental correlates of ATS choice specific to the Southeast with other areas of the US. Methods: This study utilized national data from 2952 households with school-aged children located within a 20-minute walk to a school. Parents reported their children's ATS behavior and their own ATS beliefs and perceptions. Logistic regression contrasted correlates of parents from the Southeast with other regions. Results: Parents in the Southeast, compared with parents across the US, were significantly less likely to allow their child to take ATS (12.9% vs 33.3%, respectively) (odds ratio [OR] = 0.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.36-0.59). Specific to the Southeast, parental correlates linked to increases in ATS were Black race/ethnicity (OR = 1.68; 95% CI, 1.31-2.60), being single, (OR = 1.71; 95% CI, 1.15-2.54), and any parental physical activity (P value for trend = .0053). The only correlate associated with a decrease in ATS in the Southeast was heightened safety concerns (eg, traffic speed, safe crossings) (OR = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.23-0.84). Conclusions: Among households with children in the Southeast, ATS interventions that allay parental safety concerns and that promote physical activity among parents might lead to increases in ATS.
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Active school transport (AST) is a source of daily physical activity uptake. However, AST seems to have decreased worldwide over recent decades. We aimed to examine recent trends in AST and associations with gender, age, family affluence, and time to school, using data from the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study collected in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 in the Czech Republic, Norway, Scotland, and Wales. Data from 88,212 students (11, 13 and 15 years old) revealed stable patterns of AST from 2006 to 2018, apart from a decrease in the Czech Republic between 2006 and 2010. For survey waves combined, walking to and from school was most common in the Czech Republic (55%) and least common in Wales (30%). Cycling was only common in Norway (22%). AST differed by gender (Scotland and Wales), by age (Norway), and by family affluence (everywhere but Norway). In the Czech Republic, family affluence was associated with change over time in AST, and the effect of travel time on AST was stronger. The findings indicate that the decrease in AST could be levelling off in the countries considered here. Differential associations with sociodemographic factors and travel time should be considered in the development of strategies for AST.
Article
Active transportation is defined as self-propelled, human-powered transportation modes, such as walking and bicycling. In this article, we review the evidence that reliance on gasoline-powered transportation is contributing to global climate change, air pollution, and physical inactivity and that this is harmful to human health. Global climate change poses a major threat to human health and in the future could offset the health gains achieved over the last 100 yr. Based on hundreds of scientific studies, there is strong evidence that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to global climate change. Climate change is associated with increased severity of storms, flooding, rising sea levels, hotter climates, and drought, all leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Along with increases in atmospheric CO2, other pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and particulate matter (e.g., PM2.5) are released by combustion engines and industry, which can lead to pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. Also, as car ownership and vehicle miles traveled have increased, the shift toward motorized transport has contributed to physical inactivity. Each of these global challenges has resulted in, or is projected to result in, millions of premature deaths each year. One of the ways that nations can mitigate the health consequences of climate change, air pollution, and chronic diseases is through the use of active transportation. Research indicates that populations that rely heavily on active transportation enjoy better health and increased longevity. In summary, active transportation has tremendous potential to simultaneously address three global public health challenges of the 21st century.
Article
Background Few studies with children in Asian countries, especially in Japan, have examined the relationship between walking to/from school and physical activity by segments of the day. Therefore, the present study examined the associations between walking to/from school with physical activity before school, after school, and during the entire day in a sample with a high proportion of Japanese children who walk to/from school. Methods A total of 119 participants (10.4 ± 1.3 years old) were investigated regarding their mode and length of school commute and physical activity. Step counts, sedentary time (ST), light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were measured using an ActiGraph GT9X Link accelerometer. The associations between time walking to/from school and physical activity were analyzed using the Spearman correlation coefficient. A receiver-operating characteristic analysis was used to identify the threshold of the time spent walking to/from school that is necessary to meet the physical activity guideline (MVPA ≥ 60 min/day). Results The results showed that 90.8% and 89.9% of students walked to/from school, respectively. The segments of before school, after school, before and after school, and during the entire day demonstrated significant low to high (r = 0.20–0.86) correlations between the time spent walking to/from school and step counts, ST, LPA, and MVPA. Our study showed that spending ≥45 min walking to/from school is important for meeting the physical activity recommendations. Conclusions This study provides important evidence for the promotion of walking to/from school in the future. In addition, our results also suggested that children with relatively short commuting time to school need to be more physically active in daily life situations.
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For over 50 years the U.S. has been shifting away from small, neighborhood schools to larger schools in lower density areas. Rates of children walking and biking to school have declined significantly over this period. This study examines the relationship between urban form, distance, and middle school students walking and biking to and from four schools in Oregon. Five primary results emerge: (1) urban form helps predict travel mode to and from school; (2) middle school students walk further than planners expect; (3) many students use a different mode when they travel to school and when they leave school; (4) urban form measures that predict walking behavior differ from those that predict biking behavior; and (5) urban form is only one factor in students' transportation decisions.
Article
Rising rates of overweight children have focused attention on walking and biking to school as a means to increase children's physical activity levels. Despite this attention, there has been little documentation of trends in school travel over the past 30 years or analysis of what has caused the changes in mode choice for school trips. This article analyzes data from the 1969, 1977, 1983, 1990, 1995, and 2001 National Personal Transportation Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation to document the proportion of students actively commuting to school in aggregate and by subgroups and analyze the relative influence of trip, child, and household characteristics across survey years. All analyses were done in 2006. The National Personal Transportation Survey data show that in 1969, 40.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]=37.9-43.5) of students walked or biked to school; by 2001, the proportion was 12.9% (95% CI=11.8-13.9). Distance to school has increased over time and may account for half of the decline in active transportation to school. It also has the strongest influence on the decision to walk or bike across survey years. Declining rates of active transportation among school travelers represents a worrisome loss of physical activity. Policymakers should continue to support programs designed to encourage children to walk to school such as Safe Routes to School and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's KidsWalk. In addition, officials need to design policies that encourage schools to be placed within neighborhoods to ensure that the distance to school is not beyond an acceptable walking distance.
Article
Recent concerns about obesity in children have focused attention on children's travel behavior; however, there has been little study of children's travel. Five questions should be asked to fill this knowledge gap: (a) How much are children traveling? (b) Why are children traveling? (c) With whom are children traveling? (d) How do the observed travel patterns vary with demographic characteristics such as age, race, sex, and income? and (e) What are the barriers to the analysis of children's travel? Data from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey show that children's travel is similar to that of adults. For example, youth travel is dominated by the automobile, with nearly 75 % of trips being made in a private vehicle. But in important ways children's travel is different Because of their youth, children often travel with others. However, the burden of transporting children is not distributed equally between parents; young children are more than five times as likely to travel with their mothers as with their fathers. Age also greatly affects how much children travel. Finally, small changes in current travel surveys could make them much more useful for the analysis of children's travel.
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Problem: The United States is embarking on an unprecedented era of school construction even as debate continues over where schools should be located and how much land they should occupy.Purpose: My three goals for this study were to trace the evolution of school siting standards, to explain the factors currently influencing school facility location decisions, and to identify what local and regional planners could contribute to school siting decisions.Methods: I reviewed the land use planning and educational facilities literatures on school siting and conducted in-depth interviews with school facility planners from 10 counties in Maryland and northern Virginia to assess their perspectives on the school planning process.Results and conclusions: I discovered that different groups use very different definitions of community school. Smart growth proponents advocate community schools that are small and intimately linked to neighborhoods, while school facility planners expect community schools to meet the needs of entire localities. I recommend that individual communities consider the tradeoffs associated with different school sizes and make choices that meet local preferences for locations within walking distance of students, potential for sports fields, school design, and connections to neighborhoods. State school construction and siting policies should support flexibility for localities.Takeaway for practice: Local and regional planners should work with school facility planners to conduct exercises and charettes to help each community determine how to realize its own vision of community schools.Research support: The School of Architecture at the University of Virginia and the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported this research.
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The journey to school has major significance both for families and urban environments, yet little is known in detail about the ways this has changed over the twentieth century. This study uses oral history evidence to compare decisions about the journey to school in the past and the present, and to assess the impact of these changes on the mobility experience of children. The paper argues that despite obvious increases in car use, and decreases in children travelling alone, other characteristics of the journey to school in British urban areas have changed little over the past 60 years.
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Walking and bicycling to school has decreased in recent years, while private vehicle travel has increased. Policies and programs focusing on urban form improvements such as Safe Routes to School were created to address this mode shift and possible related children’s health issues, despite minimal research showing the influence of urban form on children’s travel and health. This research examined: (1) the influence of objectively measured urban form on travel mode to school and; (2) the magnitude of influence urban form and non-urban form factors have on children’s travel behavior. The results of the analysis support the hypothesis that urban form is important but not the sole factor that influences school travel mode choice. Other factors may be equally important such as perceptions of neighborhood safety and traffic safety, household transportation options, and social/cultural norms. Odds ratios indicate that the magnitude of influence of these latter factors is greater than that of urban form; however, model improvement tests found that urban form contributed significantly to model fit. This research provides evidence that urban form is an influential factor in non-motorized travel behavior and therefore is a possible intervention to target through programs such as Safe Routes to School.
Article
The evolution of graduated licensing systems in the past 25 years has resulted in dramatic growth in research on this topic. The most recent summary reports have covered the period up to 2007. In the present article more recent and ongoing research is categorized, summarized, and discussed.
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This study describes temporal and spatial trends in active transportation for school trips in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada's largest city-region. Proportions of trips by travel mode to and from school were estimated and compared for children (11-13 years) and youth (14-15 years). Data were drawn from the 1986, 1996, 2001, and 2006 versions of the Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS). Between 1986 and 2006, walking mode share for trips to school declined (53.0%-42.5% for 11-13 year olds, 38.6%-30.7% for 14-15 year olds). Although there has also been a decline in walking home from school, walking rates were higher in the afternoon. In 2006, younger children in the suburbs walked less to school (36.1%-42.3% of trips) than 11-13 year olds in Toronto (48.1%) and Toronto's 14-15 year olds walked less (38.3% of trips) but used transit more (44.8% of trips) than students in the suburbs. The findings indicate a period of decline (1986-2006) in the use of active modes for journeys to and from school for both age groups. Policies and programs to increase active transportation should acknowledge the spatial, temporal, and demographic heterogeneity of school travel decisions and outcomes.
Article
Active travel to school provides youth with an opportunity to accumulate minutes of physical activity toward meeting recommended levels. The study included a nationally representative sample of U.S. children, aged 9 to 15 years, and one of their parents from 2004 (2256 pairs aged 11 to 15 and 5177 pairs aged 9 to 13). The objective was to estimate the prevalence of living within a mile of school, and of those who lived within a mile, the prevalence of active travel to school. Geographic, demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral correlates of active travel (defined as walking or bicycling to school one or more times during a usual week) were identified. Nearly 35% of children live within a mile of school. Among those, 47.9% were classified as active travelers. Adjusted correlates were identified from each domain (three demographic, two geographic, two attitudinal, five behavioral), explaining approximately 10% of the variance in logistic regression models. More than a third of youth aged 9 to 15 years live within a mile of school, but less than half of these students walk or bike to school even 1 day per week. The lowest proportions of active travelers among the independent correlates include students in the South, students living in rural areas, and students of parents with an advanced degree.
Article
Understanding of the activity-travel patterns of children is becoming increasingly important to various policy makers. Further, there is also a growing recognition that intra-household interactions need to be explicitly accommodated in travel models for realistic forecasts and policy evaluation. In the light of these issues, this paper contributes towards an overall understanding of the school-travel behavior of children and the related interdependencies among the travel patterns of parents and children. An econometric model is formulated to simultaneously determine the choice of mode and the escorting person for children’s travel to and from school. The 2000 San Francisco Bay Area Travel Survey (BATS) data are used in the model estimation process. Empirical results indicate that the characteristics of child like age, gender, and ethnicity, and employment and work flexibility characteristics of the parents have strong impacts on the mode choice decisions. In addition, the impacts of some of these attributes on the choice of mode to school are different from the corresponding impacts on the choice of mode from school. The distance between home and school is found to strongly and negatively impact the choice of walking to and from school, with the impact being stronger for walking to school. Several land-use and built-environment variables were explored, but were found not to be statistically significant predictors.
Article
Rising levels of childhood obesity in the United States and a 75% decline in the proportion of children walking to school in the past 30 years have focused attention on school travel. This paper uses data from the US Department of Transportation’s 2001 National Household Travel Survey to analyze the factors affecting mode choice for elementary and middle school children. The analysis shows that walk travel time is the most policy-relevant factor affecting the decision to walk to school with an estimated direct elasticity of −0.75. If policymakers want to increase walking rates, these findings suggest that current policies, such as Safe Routes to School, which do not affect the spatial distribution of schools and residences will not be enough to change travel behavior. The final part of the paper uses the mode choice model to test how a land use strategy—community schools—might affect walking to school. The results show that community schools have the potential to increase walking rates but would require large changes from current land use, school, and transportation planning practices.
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