Back in the ’60s, about half of all kids in the US biked or walked to school. Today, that number is something like 15%. Obviously, that’s a problem.
Still, though, that’s starting to change. Via Streetsblog, here’s a recent look at the mode share for young folk:
Here’s what Tanya Snyder says in the Streetsblog piece:
That said, the National Center found that walking to and from school increased among respondents between 2007 and 2012. While 12.4 percent walked to school in the morning in 2007, 15.7 percent did in 2012. In the afternoon, 15.8 percent walked home in 2007, versus 19.7 percent last year.
The difference between morning and afternoon makes sense. People are in a bigger rush in the morning and might be tempted to drive. Working parents might be available to drive in the morning but not in the afternoon. Plus, it’s colder in the mornings.
Meanwhile, cycling to school dropped from 2.6 percent of school kids in 2007-08 to 1.9 percent in 2009, then ticked up slightly each year to 2.2 percent in 2012. Since the first years of data collection had the smallest sample size, it’s hard to discern a meaningful shift.
I wonder how Minnesota compares?