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Old 04-26-2014, 11:50 AM
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,995 posts, read 42,806,438 times
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While walkabilty in the sense you don't access to a car (local area doesn't require a large machine to move around) is what's usually mentioned, I think often when people say they are looking for a walkable area, they are interested in them for other reasons as well not just a utilitarian sense of I don't have a car. Reposting, with some editting:

Originally Posted by nei View Post
Why is one interested in walking? I'm thinking two possibilities:

1) you don't have access to a car.

Then yes, safe passage is the main objective. However, sidewalks aren't the only factor in safe access. And it is a plus that where youre walking is at least somewhat appealing.

2) you care about walkable places because you like being out in your community or whereever you're visiting. In a car, you whiz by a place or are shielded from the area in a way you're not on foot. On foot, you're outdoors and feel like you're experiencing the place you live in at a smaller scale. Having other pedestrians (which = activity) is a huge plus, you get to see other locals going about their day. Not buskers. If you're walking isn't the least bit interesting or appealing, why would I care about walking there? For most, people aren't going to choose walking if it takes much longer. But walking past an area that's ugly and no other people isn't going to be walkability I'm as interested in; I have a car.

Amount of other people on the street, interesting architecture, and just stores against the street are all pluses from the perspective of #2 and have been mentioned frequently before.

I think many posters care more about 2. I care about 2 more, but 1 is still important. Sometimes the walking environment switches to less appealing but I'm already there, I want to safely walk on the road and cross.

Last edited by nei; 04-26-2014 at 01:15 PM..
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