How do travelers behave when it comes to short trips? Here, I define short trips as trips less than 1 or 2 miles. The following graph is plotted based on the 2007-08 Chicago Household Travel Survey Data. For trips less than 1 mile, 84% of travelers choose to walk. However, there are still some people (11%) who drive. For trips less than 2-mile, the walking share drops significantly to 32% while driving share jumps to 61%. Biking and transit shares did not change considerably.
It is understandable that walking for distances longer than 1 mile is not something that many people can physically do. An alternative mode for a little bit longer distances (up to 2 or 3 miles) is biking which is apparently sadly absent in the choice set of many travelers in Chicago. A large portion of the 61% mode share of driving for less than 2-mile trips can be easily done with biking if sufficient biking infrastructure are built and (as importantly) people gets educated and encouraged to bike.