Recent research demonstrates the importance of targeting the built environment to support individual physical activity, particularly for people experiencing health disparities. Master plans to promote biking and/or pedestrians (BPMPs) are a potential method for environmental change. This descriptive study aims to provide a snapshot of plan attributes and better understand demographic, social and transportation characteristics of communities with BPMPs.
We collected a census sample of BPMPs from 4 states. Population and commuting data were obtained from national statistics.
294 master plans were included, with most plans representing municipalities. 62% of plans targeted biking only, one-fifth targeted biking and walking, and 15% targeted walking only. The sampled locations have a similar demographic profile as the overall U.S. for median age and household income, people of color, high school education, and income inequality. The degree of racial diversity of sampled communities is slightly less than the U.S. average and the percentage of people who walk to work were slightly higher.
Given that communities with master plans have a similar profile as the overall U.S., BPMPs could feasibly be spread to communities throughout the country. Further research is planned to describe BPMPs in detail toward informing future plan development.
Steinman, Levinger, and Carter are with the Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Doescher is with the Rural Health Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Perry is with the School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Eyler is with the Prevention Research Center, Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Aytur is with the Dept of Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. Cradock is with the Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Evenson is with the Dept of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Heinrich is with the Dept of Social & Behavioral Health Sciences, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI. Kerr is with San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. Litt is with the Dept of Environmental Health Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO. Severcan is with the Dept of Planning and Design, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. Voorhees is with the Dept of Public and Community Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.