Aesthetic Amenities and Safety Hazards Associated with Walking and Bicycling for Transportation in New York City

This article explores the presence of aesthetic amenities and safety hazards that are associated with walking and bicycling for transportation in New York City. The authors frame their study in the context of a strategy to address health problems related to insufficient physical activity, that is, to examine modifiable neighborhood characteristics. They evaluated whether neighborhoods with more aesthetic amenities (sidewalk cafés, street trees, and clean sidewalks) and fewer safety hazards (pedestrian-auto fatalities and homicides) are associated with active transportation. Using data from the 2003 Community Health Survey in New York City, which asked about active transportation (walking or bicycling >10 blocks) in the past 30 days, the authors linked ZIP code population census and built environment characteristics. They also estimated associations were estimated for dichotomous (any active transportation versus none) and continuous (trip frequency) active transportation outcomes. The study showed that, among 8,034 adult respondents, those living near sidewalk cafés were 10% more likely to report active transportation. Adults were more likely to report active transportation if they were young, male, non-Hispanic white, born within the USA, unmarried, in very good or excellent health, college-educated, employed, or in high-income households. Road safety characteristics were not significantly associated with whether or not a participant reported any active transportation, however homicide rate was associated with less frequent active transportation among those reporting any active transportation. The authors conclude with a brief discussion of the potential impact of investments in aesthetic amenities or homicide prevention to promote active transportation.


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  • Accession Number: 01529155
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 2013 1:47PM