Does your neighborhood influence your driving habits?
A University of California at Davis study has found that neighborhoods boasting corner stores, restaurants, coffee shops, hardware stores and other small businesses inadvertently encourage residents to run their errands by foot, rather then by car. About 87 percent of respondents that live less than .5 miles from a grocery store said that they chose to walk instead of drive about six times a month. In contrast, about a third or respondents from less walk-friendly neighborhoods said they walked to complete a single errand in a month's time.
When you add it all up, people living withing walking distance of stores end up driving 42 percent fewer miles than their car-dependent counterparts. Grist points out the importance of this reduction on a global scale. If more people lived in walk-friendly neighborhoods, they would drive fewer miles, and thus, reduce carbon emissions.