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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine associations between street connectivity and road traffic speed and neighborhood residents' use of parks and park-based physical activity. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Kansas City, Missouri. Subjects: Participants were 893 adults from randomly selected households. Measures: Both self-reported park use and park-based physical activity were dichotomized as some versus none. Intersection density was calculated around each participant, and network analysis was used to determine whether participants had to travel on or cross a road with traffic speed greater than 35 miles per hour (mph) to reach the closest park. Analysis: Multilevel logistic regression examined the association between intersection density and traffic speed wit park use and park-based physical activity. Results: Compared to those in the lowest intersection density quartile, participants in the third and fourth quartiles were more likely to use parks and to engage in physical activity in parks (odds ratio [OR] = 1.76–2.34; all p < .05). Likewise, compared to those who had a high-speed road on their way to the closest park, participants with slower traffic routes to parks were more likely to use the parks (OR = 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.05–1.92). Conclusion: In addition to park proximity and the design of park features, ensuring direct and safe access to parks through street network design and traffic speed reduction strategies may be key to facilitating park-related physical activity.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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