Downtown, strip centers, and big-box stores: Mode choice by shopping destination type in Davis, California


  • Natalie D Popovich University of California at Davis
  • Susan Handy



consumer behavior, bicycling, mode choice, spending


Growing concerns about climate change and traffic congestion are motivating policymakers to find ways to encourage sustainable travel options. In the United States, where 88 percent of shopping trips are made by car, research identifying the factors that influence shopping mode choice can provide insight into ways to divert some of these trips to more sustainable alternatives. This paper aims to better explain the relationship between the built environment and shopping mode choice by examining how mode choice differs for the same individual across three different types of shopping destinations—downtown, strip center, and big box—in Davis, California. We conducted two cross-sectional online surveys in 2009 and 2010 with a total of 2043 respondents that asked questions about recent shopping. To understand the factors influencing mode choice at these three shopping destination types, we estimate binary logit models for choosing to use an active travel mode (bike or walk) to shop. Our results suggest that while distinct factors influence mode choice at the different destination types, simple infrastructure changes to the destination are not enough to encourage mode shift. Distance to shopping destinations and enjoying bicycling are the primary determinants of choosing active travel modes, while socio-demographic characteristics play a smaller role.

Author Biography

Natalie D Popovich, University of California at Davis

Graduate Student Researcher Institute for Transportation Studies Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics


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How to Cite

Popovich, N. D., & Handy, S. (2015). Downtown, strip centers, and big-box stores: Mode choice by shopping destination type in Davis, California. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 8(2).