Is Your Town Pedestrian Friendly or Are You Just Spinning Your Wheels?
Food for Thought
Walking has terrific health benefits. It is good for the environment and it makes financial sense as real estate with a high walkability score commands a premium on the market.
A newly upgraded and very handy website allows you to plug in just about any town in the nation and come away with a walk score: www.walkscore.com. But what exactly does this score mean?
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
(The following highlighted bullet points were copied from the above-referenced website.)
- A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
- People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
- Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
- Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
- Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
- Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.
Quality of Life.
It means still being able to participate in activities although you no longer drive.
It means proximity to restaurants, transportation and shopping.
It might further include:
- bike lanes
- resting spots in the middle of large and busy streets
- access to public transportation
- parks and green spaces for relaxation and cultural activities
- trees for shade and beauty
- recreational centers
- community services i.e., a farmer's market