Smart Trips Highland Park was part of the Smart Trips Neighborhoods program from St. Paul Smart Trips. It used direct individualized marketing techniques to get people out of their cars and choosing sustainable alternatives such as transit, biking and walking. The program utilized direct mailings, bike delivery of materials (Smart Trips Kits) and free events to engage interested households and provide them with the information they need to make changes in how they get around. Through the summer and fall of 2010, the program targeted the approximately 11,500 households in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul with the goal of changing their travel behavior.
Approximately 10.2% of neighborhood households (1,182 households) ordered a Smart Trips Kit. Kits were delivered by bike and contained packets full of customized information on walking, biking and transit, including a neighborhood coupon book, reusable tote bag and a neighborhood map. Program participants were asked to set a personal or family goal, such as “we will bike an average of five trips per week instead of driving.” Approximately 760 people set a goal, and of those, 29% reported meeting their goal and received a reward.
The program hosted 16 bike rides, guided walks and workshops, which were attended by over 170 people. The events were free and were open to the general public, as well as program participants. Specific events included a bike ride along the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, a church architecture walk and a workshop on basic bike maintenance. The program cost $134,000 to administer, which amounts to $5.27 per neighborhood resident. Funding came from a variety of sources including Bike Walk Twin Cities and a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant.
The results from a before-and-after phone survey demonstrated positive improvements over the baseline study, when compared to a control neighborhood. Highland Park residents showed the following shifts:
Results from an online participant survey also show a positive impact on behavior change. Approximately 83% of survey respondents reported taking new walking, biking or transit trips since joining the program, and 76% of respondents said program materials or communications helped them make those new trips.