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Walking trends in Austin

Average daily walking trips dropped by 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022 — see how Austin compares.

Two people and a dog walking along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, with buildings in the background.

Take a walk through Downtown on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail.

Photo by ATXtoday

Table of Contents

If you’ve been singing the lyrics “I walk a lonely road” a lot lately, you’re not… alone (well, in a sense). Austin roads are actually less lonely than many, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

If national averages indicate anything, it’s that roads overall may have been more lonely during the past few years. According to a recent data report by Streetlight, annual average daily walking trips dropped 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022.

How does that national average shake out in Austin, and where are the best spots to raise those national trend (and step count) numbers? Let’s take a look.

By the numbers

    • -39% | Percent change in walking trips in Texas
    • -37% | Percent change in walking trips in Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos
    • 42 | Austin’s score of 100 on Walk Score’s walkability meter

    What does a percent change in walking trips mean? Say a metro area sees a -50% change in walking trips. This means, on average, walking trips declined by 50% in that area. (For the record, none of the top 100 metros in the study saw that much of a decline — the biggest dip was 49% in Akron, OH.)

    Where to walk the walk

    Wondering where you can get your steps in? Check out these pedestrian-friendly spots around town, from local parks to protected streets.

    • The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail | Walk from MoPac to the Longhorn Dam along this 10-mile trail, which borders Downtown Austin and several of south Austin’s busiest areas.
    • South Congress Avenue | Austin’s most well-known shopping street contains several great coffee shops and restaurants, in addition to some of the highest-value retail in town.
    • The Domain and Domain NORTHSIDE | Head to these two north Austin shopping districts for restaurants, shops, and museums to explore on foot.
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