How far will you go? From empirical findings to formalization of walking route distances

Jonatan Almagor*, Itzhak Omer, Noam Omer, Amit Birenboim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Empirically based theorization of walking range patterns is rather limited, leading researchers and planners to rely on simplistic assumptions as to the typical distance and duration that pedestrians may walk. Using high-resolution GPS data collected from over 11,000 participants in the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area, we provide an empirical estimate for the distribution of walking route distance and duration, while examining potential factors that may affect it. In addition, we develop a general analytical framework that describes walking route patterns. Our results show that the average route distance and duration in Tel-Aviv metropolitan is 630 m and 7.9 min. Factors associated with walking range include socio-demographic characteristics of walkers (age-group, socioeconomic status and number of cars in a household) and city characteristics (longer routes in cities with a larger population and in areas with high density of street intersections). Our main finding is that walking route distance distribution can be best described using the theoretical log-normal distribution and can be characterized using its mean-log and SD-log parameters. The log-normal parameters make an analytical framework that enables the evaluation of differences in walking patterns between places and identification of where interventions are required to promote active travel. We explain why the log-normal distribution is likely to be suitable to other cases worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102117
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Active travel
  • Built environment
  • GPS tracking
  • Log-normal
  • Walkability
  • Walking distance


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