Neighborhoods, Streets, and Nonmotorized Travel: Evidence from Baby Boomers Living in Age-Restricted Active Adult Communities

Walking activity plays an important role in facilitating active and healthy aging. Although age-restricted active adult communities (ARAACs) have emerged as an increasingly prevalent residential choice for older adults, little research has focused on relevant behavioral activity of ARAAC residents. In this paper, we investigate the effects of ARAACs on suburban baby boomers’ recreational walking behavior, using a cross-sectional study design targeting 55-to-65-year-old residents in 35 suburban neighborhoods in the Boston metropolitan area. We utilized a mail-back survey questionnaire to measure walking activities, basic demographics, and residential preferences and Geographic Information System to measure neighborhood characteristics. We employ a behavioral model to assess the effects of age-restricted communities and local street patterns (grid, loop, and linear types) on recreational non-motorized transport (NMT) trips, controlling for residential self-selection, demographic covariates, and neighborhood features. We find that residents in ARAACs have a higher chance of making at least one NMT trip for exercise relative to residents of typical suburban neighborhoods (TSNs). Regarding the influence of street patterns, residents in neighborhoods with grid street networks or loop street networks have a higher likelihood of making at least one NMT trip relative to residents in linear type street neighborhoods. Neither ARAAC status nor street grid networks influence the number of NMT trips made. Other variables found to influence recreational NMT activity among the baby boomers surveyed include residential preferences, travel attitudes, and the presence of sidewalks.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01151105
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-1406
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 10:38AM