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1.
Transportation research record ; 2677(4):448-462, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2318008

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered people's travel behavior, in particular outdoor activities, including walking. Their behavior changes may have prolonged effects after the pandemic, and such changes vary by the context and are related to the characteristics of the built environment. But empirical studies about the relationships between pedestrians and the built environment during the pandemic are lacking. This study explores how COVID-19 and related travel restrictions have affected the relationship between pedestrian traffic volume and the built environment. We estimate daily pedestrian volumes for all signalized intersections in Salt Lake County, Utah, U.S.A., from pedestrian push-button log data between January 2019 and October 2020. Multilevel spatial filtering models show that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the relationship between pedestrian traffic volume and the built environment. During the pandemic, the higher the number of COVID-19 cases, the less (or more negative) the effects of density, street connectivity, and destination accessibility on pedestrian volume being observed. The exception is access to urban parks, as it became more significant in increasing pedestrian activities during the pandemic. The models also highlight the negative impacts of the pandemic in economically disadvantaged areas. Our findings could help urban and transportation planners find effective interventions to promote active transportation and physical activity amid the global pandemic.

2.
Transp Res Rec ; 2677(4): 448-462, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318009

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered people's travel behavior, in particular outdoor activities, including walking. Their behavior changes may have prolonged effects after the pandemic, and such changes vary by the context and are related to the characteristics of the built environment. But empirical studies about the relationships between pedestrians and the built environment during the pandemic are lacking. This study explores how COVID-19 and related travel restrictions have affected the relationship between pedestrian traffic volume and the built environment. We estimate daily pedestrian volumes for all signalized intersections in Salt Lake County, Utah, U.S.A., from pedestrian push-button log data between January 2019 and October 2020. Multilevel spatial filtering models show that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the relationship between pedestrian traffic volume and the built environment. During the pandemic, the higher the number of COVID-19 cases, the less (or more negative) the effects of density, street connectivity, and destination accessibility on pedestrian volume being observed. The exception is access to urban parks, as it became more significant in increasing pedestrian activities during the pandemic. The models also highlight the negative impacts of the pandemic in economically disadvantaged areas. Our findings could help urban and transportation planners find effective interventions to promote active transportation and physical activity amid the global pandemic.

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