Investigating Walking and Biking Activities Among Low-Income African Americans

Key Takeaways:

  • African Americans are more likely to use biking to travel to school. Of the total number of survey respondents, 13 percent of African Americans reported biking to school compared to nine percent of respondents from other racial groups.
  • African American respondents are more likely to use bicycling than other people of color. 
  • African-American households are more likely than white households to use walking and biking to reduce the financial burden of travel.
  • African American survey respondents were more likely than white survey participants to identify bad lighting, heavy traffic, and lack of pedestrian facilities such as paths, parks, or sidewalks as barriers to biking and walking.
  • African Americans take fewer bike trips per week than white Americans and are least likely to utilize bike-share programs.



  • Safe Routes to School practitioners should focus on addressing barriers to biking and walking in Black neighborhoods, and low-income, communities of color. Working towards increasing access to programs like bike share, addressing safety through improved lighting, separated bikeways and walkways, and slowing traffic can ensure equitable access to biking and walking.


  • Researchers analyzed survey data from the 2017 National Household Survey to understand walking and biking activities among African Americans in the United States.
  • The study utilized data regarding individual demographics, household characteristics, and travel data such as mode and trip purpose.
  • A statistical analysis was performed of the results from the data to develop walking and biking models of low-income African Americans.


Sadeghvaziri, Eazaz, Ramina Javid, and Mansoureh Jeihani. “Investigating Walking and Biking Activities Among Low-Income African Americans.” Edited by Morgan State University and Urban Mobility & Equity Center, March 3, 2023.

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