, Volume 45, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 76-85
Date: 26 Sep 2012

Aesthetic Amenities and Safety Hazards Associated with Walking and Bicycling for Transportation in New York City



One strategy to address health problems related to insufficient physical activity is to examine modifiable neighborhood characteristics associated with active transportation.


The aim of this study is to evaluate whether neighborhoods with more aesthetic amenities (sidewalk cafés, street trees, and clean sidewalks) and fewer safety hazards (pedestrian-auto fatalities and homicides) are associated with active transportation.


The 2003 Community Health Survey in New York City, which asked about active transportation (walking or bicycling >10 blocks) in the past 30 days, was linked to ZIP-code population census and built environment characteristics. Adjusted associations were estimated for dichotomous (any active transportation versus none) and continuous (trip frequency) active transportation outcomes.


Among 8,034 adults, those living near sidewalk cafés were 10 % more likely to report active transportation (p = 0.01). Homicide rate was associated with less frequent active transportation among those reporting any active transportation (p = 0.002).


Investments in aesthetic amenities or homicide prevention may help to promote active transportation.