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Californians Increasingly Walking or Biking Instead of Driving

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Bicycle commuter

Bicycle commuter (Photo credit: MoBikeFed)

Living in Southern California, we enjoy some of the best weather in the country throughout the year. Cities here, however, tend to be spread out, preventing many of us from taking full advantage of the perennial sunshine by walking or biking to work or school, but that may be changing.

Researchers working for the California Department of Transportation asked about 110,000 people in more than 42,000 households to record details about every trip they took during a random day and found that the number of people walking, biking, or taking public transit doubled to 22 percent from 2001 to 2012. This corresponded with a 12 percent drop in the rate of people relying on cars to get around and reflected a national trend, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Unfortunately, researchers also found that, while people were driving less, they were also taking fewer trips in general, suggesting an economic factor in the drop.

As the economy improves, hopefully more of us will continue to take these healthier and eco-friendly modes of transportation.

Benefits of Walking, Cycling, and Public Transit

Walking briskly or bicycling can burn up to around 450 calories an hour, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Exercising outdoors boosts vitamin D and endorphin production, elevating your mood.

Every gallon of gas you save by opting not to drive prevents 8,887 grams of carbon dioxide from being released into the air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

With gas prices climbing to nearly $4 a gallon in Orange County, walking, cycling, or taking public transit is sure to save money.

How often do you leave your car at home? Would you drive less if you could?

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