The top 10 most walkable U.S. cities and a related finding: No matter where you live, perceived walkability influences how much you walk
People walk more when they live in neighborhoods perceived as walkable, says a new report from the organization/coalition America Walks. That may come close to being a tautology, but it isn't, quite. A recent survey of 7,000 "avid walkers" found a variation: Within each level of population density (low, medium, high), the proportion of frequent walkers increases as the perceived walkability of the neighborhood goes from low to high.
The study was conducted by professors William Milczarski and Peter Tuckel of Hunter College, in New York City. According to a press release from America Walks, additional key findings include the following:
- Infrequent walkers said they would be much more likely to walk if their physical environments were more conducive for walking.
- More school children walk to school if their parents are frequent walkers.
- The biggest problems confronted by walkers (in order of importance) are: distracted drivers, speeding motor vehicles, unsmooth sidewalks, not enough sidewalks, and poorly-lit streets.
Unfortunately, neither the survey nor the press release, which I received via email, have been posted on the organization's website as of this writing. Presumably that will change very soon, so do check the site.