Take note Detroit: Given the choice, millennials would rather walk than drive.
That’s according to the 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey, sponsored by the National Association of Realtors and Portland State University. The national poll of 3,000 adults in the 50 largest metro areas found that, “millennials are distinguishing themselves as the generation that, more than any other generation, prefers to walk.”
According to the survey, millennials (ages 18-34) are 12% more likely to walk than drive to get where they need to go. They are looking for short commutes and prefer to live within walking distance of shops and restaurants. They are also looking for other transportation options besides driving, such as bicycling or using public transportation.
The survey also found that Americans as a whole desire walkable communities more now than in the past. Forty-eight percent of Americans say that they “prefer to live in communities containing houses with small yards but within easy walking distance of local amenities, instead of living in communities with houses that have large yards, but require lots of driving.”
And 85% of homebuyers note that sidewalks are an appealing factor in buying a home, while 79% put importance on being within easy walking distance of places. “Women in particular value walkability in their communities,” notes the study, “with 61% indicating that having sidewalks with stores and restaurants to walk to is very important.”