Professional Planners Anticipate Post-Pandemic Active Commuting

Many planners say they want to try out active commutes when in-office work becomes possible. How will a fresh look at their local streets influence planning professionals and planning practice?

Read Time: 2 minutes

August 27, 2020, 11:00 AM PDT

By Lee Flannery @leecflannery


kaybee07 / Flickr

A survey of 1,000 planning professionals conducted by Kittelson & Associates asked whether remote work has changed preferences about commuting to work. A surprising number of workers in government and the built environment professions want to try an active commute once they return to the office post-pandemic the survey findsa change in habits that might reduce the widespread windshield bias that has subtly shaped city decision making for generations.

"Like several broader studies have found, many respondents remain shy of returning to public transportation, but 23 percent of workers who previously took transit every day indicated that they plan to try a bike, walk, or other active commute once they can return to the workplace — compared to about 18 percent that will commute solo by car," writes Kea Wilson. 

Equally important, 44 percent of survey respondents said they would opt for biking or walking over mass transit commutes in the future. Only .5 percent of Americans in the transportation industry chose active commuting in 2014, according to an American Community Survey survey.

"One thing’s for sure: if all these powerful people actually make good on their intentions to try walking, biking, or wheeling to work, they may get a glimpse of their communities they’ve never seen before. And if they don’t like what they see, maybe they’ll start thinking about how to make our roads better for the rest of us," opines Wilson.

Thursday, August 13, 2020 in Streetsblog USA

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Walkable, mixed-use neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain

Conspiracy Theorists Discover the 15-Minute City

USA Today debunks the false claim that the United Nations’ call for enabling 15-minute cities is a coded plan to institute ‘climate change lockdowns.’

February 8, 2023 - USA Today

Aerial view of MBTA commuter rail station in Concord, Massachusetts among green trees

Massachusetts Zoning Reform Law Reaches First Deadline

Cities and towns had until January 31 to submit their draft plans for rezoning areas near transit stations to comply with a new state law.

February 1, 2023 - Streetsblog Mass


Washington Could Legalize Single-Staircase Buildings

Supporters of ‘point access blocks,’ which are common in Europe and other parts of the world, say the design maximizes living space and lowers the cost of construction.

February 8 - The Urbanist

View of downtown San Francisco from top of windy street at sunset with Coit Tower in distance

San Francisco Housing Plan Gets State Approval

The city cleared a major hurdle as its housing plan, which paves the way for 82,000 new homes by 2030, is certified by the state.

February 8 - KALW

Green Line, Los Angeles

Rail Transit Plans Would Connect L.A.’s South Bay to the Regional Rail System

Two new transit extensions promise several new routes for South Bay residents to access the Los Angeles region’s transit system.

February 8 - The Source