I have been lucky to live in a dry climate. My neighborhood paved bike and running paths.
Walking to work for me takes twenty minutes and is a more comfortable commute than the one most drivers make on the freeways.
However, not every one has the comfortable climate and walkway I have. People who have to make daily decisions on whether they should walk to work because of the weather have a more difficult time of building a walking habit.
Census Bureau on Walking
“The Census Bureau’s most recent report, “Modes Less Traveled — Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008-2012,” shows that walking to work has remained unchanged since 2000 after steadily decreasing since 1980. In 1980, 5.6 percent of workers walked to work, and that rate declined to 2.9 percent by 2000. However, in the 2008-2012 period, the rate of walkers remained statistically unchanged from 2000. Among larger cities, Boston had the highest rate of walking to work at 15.1 percent.”
via Walking to Work Remains Unchanged from 2000 – American Community Survey (ACS) – Newsroom – U.S. Census Bureau.
Creating a habit of walking for me took committing to small things. I would commit to putting on my shoes. Then I would commit to walking a block. In a matter of minutes, I had gone far enough that going back did not make sense. To turn around becomes an inconvenience.
Local governments are creating more bike paths and walkways for safe commutes. Officials do see the alternative methods of transportation as important to the local transpiration options.
As walking places become safer, more convenient, and more beautifully landscaped to make them interesting and attractive, walking and biking becomes a fun way to commute.