WalkScore.com has ranked the walkability of the 50 largest U.S. cities. The organization bases its findings on population and ease of access to amenities such as grocery stores, shopping centers, movie theaters, and many other destinations on foot.
Take an online walk-about of the 10 cities deemed the most walkable in the United States.
10. Oakland, CA
Oakland, CA, takes its walking very seriously. In response to a high number of pedestrian fatalities in the late 1990s, the city created the Oakland Pedestrian Safety Project. This program educates motorists and pedestrians alike on methods to make walking safer. With these efforts, Oakland is a safer place for a stroll than ever.
9. Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis, MN, boasts nearly 1,800 miles of sidewalks, making it easy for residents to get around on foot. The city has been named a Gold Walk Friendly Community by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) for its commitment to pedestrian safety and sustained walkability.
8. Miami, FL
With its warm weather and walkable neighborhoods like Overtown, Little Havana, and Brickell, Miami, FL, is a pedestrian’s dream.
7. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., is another PBIC Gold Walk Friendly Community. The District of Columbia has wide sidewalks that lead to monuments, eateries, bars, gardens and other areas of interest. These hotspots allow places for pedestrians to stop and really enjoy the city.
6. Seattle, WA
The Seattle, WA, Department of Transportation wants to make it as easy as possible for visitors and residents to get around the Emerald City, so they have instituted a series of online city walking maps detailing walking time, steepness of streets and points of interest along the way.
5. Philadelphia, PA
One thing that sets Philadelphia, PA, apart as a walkable city is its distinct signage. There are colorful signs on each street corner listing a number of local destinations so that you always know what is nearby, making it easier to orient yourself. Also, discmaps are located at regular intervals in the city to give a 10-minute radius snapshot of the area right around you.
4. Chicago, IL
It is very easy to get around the Windy City on foot. The streets of Chicago, IL, are laid out in an easy-to-navigate grid system that makes finding your way a breeze. Want to explore a neighborhood on foot? Take advantage of the Chicago Greeter program, offering free guided tours.
3. Boston, MA
Home to the Freedom Trail, Boston, MA, has long been an interesting place to take a walk. Now the city is doing even more to encourage Bostonians to hoof it with WalkBoston, a program that offers awards to businesses and individuals that come up with ideas to make walking in Boston safer and more attractive to the everyday pedestrian.
2. San Francisco, CA
You would think a city known for hills, twists and turns would not be the best for a pedestrian, but San Francisco, CA, ranks high on WalkScore’s list of cities. The City by the Bay has a loyal and vocal pedestrian base as evidenced by Walk San Francisco, a pedestrian advocacy group dedicated to making the city a better place for those who choose to travel it by foot.
1. New York, NY
Walking is one of the most common forms of getting around in the Big Apple. New York, NY, tops the WalkScore list with a whopping score: 85 out of 100! The most walkable neighborhoods in the most walkable U.S. city include Little Italy, Soho and the Flat Iron District.
Well, there you have it: the countdown of the top walkable cities in the country. Check the list to see whether your city is ranked. If yours is not quite the pedestrian’s dream you want it to be, you might want to get involved in a local walking movement to make your city a better place to get around on foot.
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