Date: 01 Aug 2013

Non-motorized Travel as a Sustainable Travel Option

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In many developed countries walking and bicycling are not extensively used as a means of transportation. Further, the share of these non-motorized travel modes (as a percentage of all trips) has been reducing over time. The increasingly low use of walk and bicycle modes of transportation, and the concomitant increasing use of motorized vehicles for transportation, may be associated with several factors, including land use and development patterns, traffic safety and personal security concerns, and perceptions of and attitudes towards non-motorized transport. These factors manifest themselves differently in developing and developed countries, but throughout the world the increasing reliance on motorized transport contributes to serious traffic congestion problems, air quality degradation, and greenhouse gas emission increases. In addition to transportation professionals, health agencies are also paying increased attention to non-motorized modes, or “active transport” as a route to improve public health. We discuss the many benefits of non-motorized travel, identify its facilitators and impediments, analyze its utilization in select developed and developing countries, review previous studies of the effectiveness of strategies to promote it, and recommend possible pathways to promote non-motorized travel as a sustainable travel option.