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Report reveals biking and walking rates in small towns and rural America comparable to big cities
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, January 2012


Active Transportation Beyond Urban Centers: Walking & Bicycling in Small Towns and Rural America, produced by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) with support from SRAM and Bikes Belong, reveals the surprising prevalence of walking and bicycling in rural communities across the country.

By recognizing the key distinctions between categories of rural and urban communities, Beyond Urban Centers presents a more complete picture of how Americans move every day.  Some key findings include:

  • Among a list of transportation priorities—including major roads and long-distance travel—rural Americans selected sidewalks more often than any other transportation need. Almost nine in 10 also cited the importance of pedestrian-friendly communities, and nearly three out of four reported that bike lanes are important.
  • The share of work trips made by bicycle in small towns is nearly double that of urban centers. Among all trips taken in rural towns of between 10,000 and 50,000 residents, just as many people bike as in the urban core. Within small towns of 2,500 to 10,000 residents, people walk for work purposes at a rate almost identical to Urban Core communities.
  • Biking, walking and trail infrastructure projects create more jobs per dollar than highway projects.

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