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Walking Survey Results Released

by Katie Pyzyk January 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm 4,135 31 Comments

Clarendon is the area of Arlington that people most often target for walking, according to results from the recent Arlington County Commuter Services survey.

The 2011 ACCS WalkArlington Study gathered input from 985 respondents, and found that more than half walk daily throughout the community. 86% report making a trip entirely by walking at least twice a week.

The top reasons for walking include running errands and getting exercise. Commuting is another reason, with 56% of people saying they walk for at least part of their commute at least once a week.

In regards to safety, the county’s walkers aren’t overly concerned about crime, but worry about sharing the roads with vehicles. 54% say aggressive or inattentive drivers pose a safety threat to walkers.

WalkArlington is a county initiative aimed at getting people walking more for health, environmental and commuting benefits. 44% of survey respondents had heard of the initiative, but only 21% have used the organization’s services.

The survey found that two-thirds of respondents participated after seeing the request on ARLnow.com. Full survey results are available here.

  • Thes

    Cool study. Makes the case for excellent sidewalks in Clarendon.

    • Swag

      Protip: Don’t plant trees next to your brick sidewalk. It f—s it all up.

      Guy who steps in holes, trips on bricks, and can’t remember what walking on a level surface is like

      • CW

        But conversely, if you’re going to plant trees next to your sidewalks, brick is a lot better than concrete…

    • Josh S

      Really, it makes the case for good sidewalks throughout the county.

  • Andy

    This study should really be taken in stride.

  • WayBack

    The study shows that less than half of 1% of the County’s population walks throughout the community daily. This is me being overwhelmed.

    • drax

      Interesting math you got there, Wayback.

      • Swag

        Math is hard.

      • WayBack

        Numbers do not lie.

  • drax

    The study found that 68% of the walkers in Clarendon were walking in flip-flops.


    • DarkHeart

      The rest walk around in the equally uncomfortable looking flat shoes as seen in the story’s picture.

      • drax

        Those look alot better than high heels, which appear to be torture devices.

    • Clarendon

      Lots of the girls I see are wearing boots these days.

      • drax

        Some of them are wearing really, really ugly boots.

  • brendan

    Kind of embarrassing to publish this as an actual study…

    This is no more a “study” than having if a local news station did an online poll and interviewed a few people on the street.

    Seriously look at the methodology and they literally conducted an online poll and interviewed people they found running/walking.

    How much did the county spend on this junk?

    • Thes

      I did find it odd that they gave an “error rate” of about 3%. Such a rate is ordinarily called a “sampling error” but only applies if you had a random sample. This was not a random sample.

      That said, the point of the survey seemed in part to be whether the County’s programs are reaching self-identified “walkers” and if so, by what methods. For example, the fact that 2/3 of survey respondents were from ArlNow (even though the County did an extensive outreach effort of its own), suggests that probably the County could get its message out better by using this blog.

      • More Red Herrings

        It was as much a random sample as the bikers they polled on the bike trails that said they predominantly biked on the trails.

        I wonder how the numbers would lean if they polled a similar number of folks at Lee Harrison shopping center.

  • brendan

    * – having….

    should be ‘than if a local news station…’

  • Mark

    Having moved to the DC area a year ago I’m amazed to see how rude and dangerous the drivers are here. It seems that drivers here routinely ignore that that they actually have to pay attention to pedestrians when the lights go green. ACPD could make a fortune fining drivers if they were in unmarked cars watching drivers cutoff pedestrians and ignoring safety.

    • novasteve

      Everyone is rude here. Notice how nobody says hello or acknowledges people? it’s becaucse this place attracts people with personality disorders due to the power/status/money in the vicinity.

    • brendan

      yeah… goes both ways tho. a car just makes a rude person more dangerous, they’re the same way when they’re walking or biking. everyone here jaywalks regularly, bikers rarely pay attention to traffic signals, etc. etc. i guess when you live in a metro area where everyone is so super important this kind of thing happens.

      also, the number of joggers at night wearing all black with no reflective gear or lights is pretty disturbing. saw one get hit in a crosswalk and it was entirely the joggers fault.

      • Mark

        I have to admit “importance” has never had any influence on my behavior but rude people do. And I don’t cut off cars by Jaywalking. I guess my bigger point was that the ACPD could make a lot of money teaching some motorists some very basic traffic rule lessions and make some money for the county.

  • CW

    “86% report making a trip entirely by walking at least twice a week.”

    Sorry, this is funny.

    Does that include – trips to the metro station, trips you get into your car, trips to the bathroom??

  • novasteve

    The study also shows that 45% of the people who walk on these sidewalks spend their free time at a place with “Tavern” in the name and drink PBR.

  • novasteve

    Seems to me that Carl diener was murdered in Clarendon, so people should have at least some concern for crime there otherwise they are being fools.

  • JimPB

    If you can’t be it right, might be better not to do it at all.

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    “56% of people saying they walk for at least part of their commute at least once a week.” What is “part of their commute”? Is that to/from the metro? From your car up the stairs? What?

  • R. Griffon

    Interesting survey, but agreed that their sampling methods leave a lot to be desired. This is nothing like a true study.

    Re: people walking more in Clarendon, I wonder how much of that is due to the selection bias of people from this site providing 2/3 of respondents as I’ve always felt that Clarendonites were over-represented here (just a hunch … would love to see actual stats on site useage, esp. for registered users).

  • Westover Leftover

    Again another pointless “survey”.

    What did this cost the taxpayers of Arlington?

    What did this get the taxpayers of Arlington?

    What will the next pointless “survey” be about?

    • Arlington County Statistician

      We are planning on conducting a non-significant, methodologically flawed survey on surveys…but we need to first do a study of how it will impact the stock of affordable housing in Country Club Hills.
      Thanks for asking.

  • Bob



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