Examining the role of trip destination and neighborhood attributes in shaping environmental influences on children's route choice

Mika R. Moran, Daniel A. Rodríguez, Jason Corburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Routes are a common way through which child pedestrians experience the built environment. However, empirical evidence on route-scale environmental influences on children's walking are scarce and mainly concern home-school itineraries. To address this gap, this study aims to identify environmental influences on children's route choice, and to explore how these may vary by trip destination and neighborhood type. One hundred and seven children (10–12 year old) living in inner-city and clustered suburban neighborhoods in Rishon LeZion, Israel participated in the study. Participants were instructed to draw the routes along which they regularly walk from their home to four destinations: School, public facility, retail and park. We then compared the attributes of the built environment for the walking trips reported, relative to the trips that would have taken the shortest path along the street, path, and alley network for each origin-destination pair using conditional logistic regression, while adjusting for the correlation across choices, route length, and individual characteristics. Comparisons of chosen and non-chosen routes suggest that routes with fewer intersections are more likely to be selected, if they have fewer intersections but more compact urban form along the route. The ratio of built-to-lot area and distance remained significant, but residential land uses and the walkability index were differentially associated with route choice when analyses were stratified by destination and neighborhood type. Being the first study to explore route choice by both location and destination and given that environmental influences on walking are context specific, this study provides valuable insights on environment-behavior interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-81
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Foundation for collaborative research between the Technion and the University of Haifa .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Children
  • Route choice
  • Walkability
  • Walking for transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


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