While the pandemic was mostly a horrible thing we went through, there were some positives to come out of it. People slowed down and had a new appreciation for life and the outdoors. Grand Rapidians were amongst the top people in the country to tap into this side.

A new study by CommercialCafe found that G.R. residents have traded their cars for their feet, walking way more than they ever have, by 141%. Using Apple Mobility Trends, researchers anonymously looked at searches for directions via transit, car, and walking from January 13, 2020 (before the lockdown) to August 2021 in 50 major metro U.S. cities.

They studied how people were moving before the pandemic and during. They found that mobility overall dropped in April, increased in the summer, and then fell again in the winter.

Then, as winter waned in 2021 and summer began, another uptick in searches signified more people getting out and moving — but, this time, they did so more than the previous summer.

This makes sense considering restrictions loosened and there was an availability of vaccines.

Midwesterners were the ones to get out more seeing an average of 122% increase in walking compared to pre-pandemic days. The lowest uptick was in the west coast at 74%. This might be the case because people are already spending more times walking on the west coast compared to the colder states.

Not only is Grand Rapids walking more but they're also driving more, up 80%. The same can't be said about public transportation, though, which was down 22% in the city as of August 2021. This was a common trend across most of the U.S.

Cities with the Highest Walking Mobility:

  1. Buffalo
  2. Virginia Beach
  3. Raleigh
  4. Columbus
  5. Milwaukee
  6. Grand Rapids (up 144%)
  7. Salt Lake City
  8. Cleveland
  9. Minneapolis
  10. Detroit (up 120%)

New Orleans was the only city where walking dropped (-70%).

Cities with the Highest Driving Mobility:

  1. Seattle
  2. Grand Rapids (up 80%)
  3. Salt Lake City
  4. Virginia Beach
  5. Milwaukee
  6. Rochester
  7. Providence
  8. Buffalo
  9. Cleveland
  10. Indianapolis

Do you find yourself walking more since the pandemic?

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