Report Finds Arkansas With Low Rate For Cycling And Walking To Work

Aug 12, 2014

A bicyclist in Little Rock.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A new report says central Arkansas has one of the lowest rates in the country for people who walk or ride a bicycle to work.

Metroplan released its 2014 Demographic Review and Outlook Tuesday, analyzing demographic and workforce trends. The full report can be viewed here

Jonathan Lupton, research planner for Metroplan, says only 1.3 percent of commuters pedal or walk to their jobs.

"We tend to have a higher dependence than average on cars and we tend to have longer than average commutes and those are verified by the statistics. So we rank 343 out of 366 U.S. metro areas in the share of people who either bike or walk to work," Lupton said.

That has a correlation, he says, with the area having an above average obesity rate. He says there are also other ramifications.

"There is some evidence that some of the metro areas in the country that are thriving are ones that are walkable, that people prized that, and it’s linked with productivity, it’s linked with creativity, and it’s also linked with good health," Lupton said.

On another topic, the report said that among the four counties in the region, Saline and Faulkner Counties are growing the fastest, with annual population growth estimates of 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Metroplan is the local planning organization for central Arkansas, tasked with developing transportation plans among other issues.