Want to know how to get more people – far more people – walking to work in Princeton? The answer is very simple, and the good news is, it doesn’t have to cost us a cent…
It’s simple: if you hope for people to walk to their place of employment in Princeton, let them live in Princeton. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Why don’t people walk to their jobs in Princeton today? Because a lot of the time, that would mean walking from Plainsboro or Lawrenceville, which is quite a hike, even if you aren’t put off by the many dangerous roads you’d have to cross. People who live close to where they work are far more likely to walk or cycle.
However, it has been argued often enough that everybody in Princeton drives. So let’s examine the data… The data (American Community Survey 2007-2011, shown in graph above) strongly back up the idea that people who live and work in Princeton are far more likely to walk or cycle. Compared to all Princeton area employees, people who both live and work in Princeton are 2.5x more likely to use a bike to get to work. The difference is even greater when it comes to walking. 45% of people who live and work in Princeton walk to work! That compares to an average of all Princeton employees of just 9.6%!
We previously noted that Princeton did not compare especially favorably to the rest of the US when it came to car use for people getting to work. But among people who actually live and work in Princeton, walking is a very popular way to get to work. Nobody needs to be ‘forced’ to leave their car behind– just provide homes where people work, and they will choose to use active transportation instead. Traffic from car commuting will fall, CO2 emissions would be reduced, local businesses would benefit from increased foot traffic, people would be more healthy, and more of us would be freed from the stress of driving!
Does where you live influence your choice of getting to work? What do you think of the data? Leave a comment below!