Measuring transportation at a human scale: An intercept survey approach to capture pedestrian activity


  • Robert James Schneider University of California, Berkeley



pedestrian, walking, survey, geographic information systems (GIS), performance measurement


Pedestrian travel data are critical for measuring and analyzing sustainable transportation systems. However, traditional household travel surveys and analysis methods often ignore secondary modes, such as walking from a street parking space to a store entrance or walking from a bus stop to home. New data collection and analysis techniques are needed, especially in areas where walking is common. This paper describes an intercept survey methodology used to measure retail pharmacy customer travel to, from, and within 20 shopping districts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Of the 1003 respondents, 959 (96 percent) reported all modes of travel used from leaving home until returning home, including secondary modes. Walking was the primary travel mode on 21 percent of respondent tours, but an analysis of secondary modes found that 52 percent of tours included some walking. Pedestrian travel was particularly common within shopping districts, accounting for 65 percent of all trips within 804 meters (0.5 miles) of survey stores. Detailed walking path data from the survey showed that respondents in denser, more mixed-use shopping districts tended to walk along the main commercial street as well as other streets connecting to the core shopping area, while respondent pedestrian movements in automobile-oriented shopping districts tended to be contained within specific shopping complexes.




How to Cite

Schneider, R. J. (2013). Measuring transportation at a human scale: An intercept survey approach to capture pedestrian activity. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 6(3), 43–59.