Here courtesy of WalkScore is a nice map showing the "walkability" of different DC neighborhoods:

walkscore-dc.jpg


If you know the city at all, you'll see that being pedestrian-friendly is a strong correlate of being prosperous. This reality sometimes tends to confuse the debate over planning for walkers. Because walkable neighborhoods tend to be inhabited by well-off people, the whole topic gets construed as a concern "for" well-off yuppies. But really that's backwards. Walkable areas tend to be full of relatively rich people because they're relatively rare and relatively desirable -- their scarcity means that the less prosperous are priced out of these areas, but if we shifted policy to increase the supply of areas with good pedestrian access, people of more modest means would be able to afford them.

That, in turn, would be a serious blow for socioeconomic equity because at the end of the day while yuppies may like a nice walkable neighborhood, it's poor people, seniors, and older kids who are mostly likely to really be unable to drive where they want to go.

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