Characterizing Neighborhood Pedestrian Environments with Secondary Data

Commonly used measures of the pedestrian environment rely on field data collection and subjective judgments. This study develops objective measures of the pedestrian environment that use secondary data or plans for proposed neighborhoods and still correlate well with accepted subjective measures. Data to estimate these measures, describing network design, sidewalk availability and building accessibility, were collected for a sample of neighborhoods in the Chicago area using both common secondary sources and subjective field surveys. Linear regression was used to estimate judgmental indices with the laboratory data as independent variables. The measures developed can be substituted for subjective field measures to reduce costs with minimal loss in accuracy and to characterize walkability of proposed neighborhood designs.