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This Week’s Dose of Walkability

Mar 29, 2012

At VIA, we’re passionate about living in and contributing to functional walkable and bikeable communities. Our lives are enriched daily by the benefits of being lucky enough to live in cities like Seattle and Vancouver- both hugely bike, transit, and pedestrian-friendly. Benefits of walkable cities range from the obvious- healthier residents and ease of community access, to benefits on a more macro level- lowered crime rates, the rage against climate change, and an overall sense of community livelihood and well-being.

This week, we’ve seen a few interesting bits on bikeable and walkable neighborhoods come through our news feed. Here’s a collection of some of those bits:

The True Cost of Unwalkable Streets, from The Atlantic Cities
This article, through a collection of graphics and images, highlights the American obesity epidemic using informative graphs and statistics, linking those stats to the shapes of our built environments. The article also notes the dangers in many areas of being a cyclist or pedestrian, stating that some streets are just not “complete” in a way they need to be to encourage a more free-flowing pedestrian culture.

The Benefits of a Walkable Neighborhood
“Walking In Your Neighborhood: It’s Not Just a Mild Workout”, from, whose motto is “Drive Less, Walk More”, shares the benefits of creating compact, walkable communities as opposed to poorly planned sprawl.

On, you can also check the “Walk Score” of your current city or neighborhood, or do some research on a new place to hang your hat (and put on your walking shoes) that would be more conducive to an active walking/cycling lifestyle.

Out of a possible 100, Seattle as a whole (taking into account N Seattle, S Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Redmond + Sammamish) scores a 74 for walkability (Very Walkable), and its ‘hoods score higher individually- Denny Triangle scores a 98, Capitol Hill scores a 91, Uptown scores an 89, Downtown scores a 93, and Ballard scores a 94. Metro Vancouver, BC is a Walker’s Paradise with an overall score of 90, and awesome neighborhood scores: 98 in Gastown, 95 in Yaletown, 97 in Chinatown, and 87 in False Creek. To give some perspective to our local scores: Scottsdale, AZ rates a whopping 42, and pedestrian-oriented Boston, MA as a whole checks in at 79 (with neighborhoods jumping into the 98 range).

How Walkable Streets Can Reduce Crime, from
This article touches on interesting points, such as how, in addition to fostering a walkable culture, keeping a city clean can discourage crime occurrence and severity.

Some other great resources to help you stay informed include Bikeable Communities, a go-to network for bicycle-friendly community enthusiasts; The #Walkable Communities Daily on, a daily gathering of interesting articles and Tweets on related topics; and popping into Twitter for a search of #walkable or heading over to a search engine for the latest.