2008 - Research

Application of a Walkability Suitability Assessment to the Immediate Built Environment Surrounding Elementary Schools

This study examines the usefulness of applying a walking suitability assessment to a specific geographic area surrounding elementary schools.

  • The walking suitability assessment focuses on the curb zone (i.e., area from the street to where the curb meets the sidewalk) through the walking zone (i.e., the sidewalk).
  • Streets within a 0.25-mile radius were measured to create a summary walking suitability score for seven schools from high-busing strata and seven from low-busing strata.
  • Walking suitability is an important consideration when examining the feasibility of walk-to-school programs within school settings; however, it might not be the main factor limiting children’s active commuting to school.
  • Several aspects of the environment were captured that researchers, practitioners, school personnel, and transportation experts may deem useful.