Active travel 'stagnant' in America

Walking increases minor, while cycling levels remain unchanged
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A study by Rutgers University has found walking and cycling levels to be 'stagnant' in America, despite rising pump costs and ever-expanding waistlines.

New research, reported by Reuters, suggests that any increases in active travel across the Atlantic are made up mostly by men, with women, children and seniors all neglecting walking and cycling.

"What struck me was the social inequity," said Dr. John Pucher of Rutgers University. "Most of the increase is in middle-aged men. That says we're doing something wrong in the United States."

Both the unemployed and well educated were also singled out as demographics in which cycling is on the rise.

Pucher's study found that 25 per cent of journeys made in the USA were a mile or shorter, while 40 per cent were under two miles.

"Those distances are easily covered by walking and biking," Pucher said. "Children, women and seniors are just not going to cycle on a busy arterial street."

And it's safety concerns that seem to be producing such stagnant results. Pucher added: "Women cyclists tend to make huge detours to get to safer facilities, even if it takes longer, whereas men are more likely to take the most direct route, even if it is a busy street."

Read more on Reuters here.

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