Publication Detail

Measuring Nonmotorized Accessibility and Connectivity in a Robust Pedestrian Network



Available online at DOI: 10.3141/2299-06

Suggested Citation:
Tal, Gil and Susan L. Handy (2012) Measuring Nonmotorized Accessibility and Connectivity in a Robust Pedestrian Network. Transportation Research Record 2299, 48 - 56

This paper explores measures of pedestrian accessibility and net- work connectivity with a network that includes pedestrian facilities in addition to the street network. Studies that focus on walkability usually use available street networks that do not include pedestrian-only facilities. The effect of missing pedestrian connections where the street network is richer than the pedestrian network has been examined in some studies, but the case of suburban environments with robust pedestrian networks has mostly been ignored. In the current study, various measures of connectivity and accessibility were compared between the pedestrian network and the street network in different suburban set- tings and for accessibility to different land use activities, such as schools and retail centers. Documenting the degree to which the pedestrian network enhanced pedestrian accessibility over the street network alone was motivated by the desire to inform research and to inform policy. Nine neighborhoods in the city of Davis, California, with typical suburban densities, a variety of street network types, and an extensive system of off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities were used in the study. A network that included all minor and primary roads in the city plus pedestrian ways was also used. This network included 60 mi of off-street facilities and excluded freeways not open to pedestrians. Households were used as origins and schools and retail centers as destinations to demonstrate the effect of the pedestrian network on connectivity and accessibility in different parts of the city. The results of this study can be used to improve the measurement of built environment in studies of active travel and to increase understanding of the effect of the pedestrian network in the suburban environment.