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View Poll Results: What discourages walking for you even if you wanted it (choose as many as you think apply).
Lack of sidewalks/paved surfaces to walk on (for instance, forcing you to walk in places such as the side of the road that'd be unsafe/impractical. 31 63.27%
Distance (eg. the places I'd walk to in theory are too far away/spread out that only driving/taking transit/biking etc. is practical to reach them). 37 75.51%
Time (eg. I'd be willing to go a certain distance on foot but even so, my busy schedule/lifestyle won't allow it). 14 28.57%
Climate/weather (it makes it discomforting or even unhealthy, or just uncomfortable to walk where I live outdoors). 16 32.65%
Safety (crime and other dangers that affect pedestrians) 15 30.61%
Social stigma (eg. get strange looks/comments/look out of place or if I'm seen walking around, or don't want people I know to see me so) 6 12.24%
Other (mention in thread if you like). 5 10.20%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-22-2012, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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I'm sure distance and lack of footpath/infrastructure centered around low density/difficult to reach amenities that means you can only drive to reach them in time and place is obviously the main thing for many areas, but I wonder if other factors (eg. weather or climate, feeling of safety in certain neighbourhoods, cities etc.) also play a role.

Last edited by Stumbler.; 04-22-2012 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:21 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
I'm sure distance and lack of footpath/infrastructure centered around low density/difficult to reach amenities that means you can only drive to reach them in time and place is obviously the main thing, but I wonder if other factors (eg. weather or climate, feeling of safety in certain neighbourhoods, cities etc.) also play a role.
Safety plays a role. I walk around at night, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with my wife doing so. Even in the polished neighborhoods around here, there's just enough foot traffic after 9 or 10 p.m.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Beyond a 10 minute walk or so, I'll usually take the bus or bike. If it's cold though, I'd rather walk than bike. I'm more at ease on ice and snow on foot than on bicycle, and the wind chill effects aren't as bad, plus I can put my hands in my pockets when I walk. It's very rare that the weather is so bad that I wouldn't go outside if I had to, although if I can wait for the weather to get better, I will. If the weather is really nice, especially if it wasn't as nice before, like when we had that summer weather in March, I'm basically looking for any excuse to go outside, so I'll walk to the grocery store even if I don't really need anything. If it's extremely cold, or raining very hard, I might delay going to the grocery store and make do with what I have, like if I run out of milk, I might just drink water instead and go the next day.

Lack of sidewalks only bothers me if there's a lot/fast traffic.

The quality of the built/pedestrian environment does influence me. The closest supermarket is in a stripmall where I have to walk along a 3 lane, 1 way road where there is no buffer of parked cars, trees or grass between the sidewalk and cars that are going relatively fast, and then I have to walk along most of the parking lot. There is another supermarket that's a 1-2 minute walk further, but it's in a main street style downtown with a fair bit of other people walking around, which I find more pleasant, so I go there instead. That supermarket is actually in a small shopping mall with a square in front that sometimes had events, and a skating rink in the winter. It helps that this supermarket is also cheaper, but the environment it's in is a factor too.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:07 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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There's nothing that discourages me from walking other than distance (or if I want to carry a lot of stuff). Before I had a car, I used to typically do grocery errands by bicycle but my housemate would go by foot often even though he had a car; he used the extra time to listen to books on tape.

Though, subconsicously I might avoid walking in the strip mall sections but I think distance plays a bigger role.

Last edited by nei; 04-22-2012 at 09:28 PM..
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
If you do prefer to walk personally often, what are the major things that decrease walkability for you in practice?
Walking is okay but I'd rather ride my bike. I can go further and save time doing it. I am not averse to walking, but if I have to travel on foot, so to speak, then I prefer hiking.

[walking is too slow]
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:27 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEETC View Post
Walking is okay but I'd rather ride my bike. I can go further and save time doing it. I am not averse to walking, but if I have to travel on foot, so to speak, then I prefer hiking.

[walking is too slow]
Agreed. I generally prefer biking over walking unless the distance is very short (if I can walk it in 5 mins I might not bother bike) though when it's dark I'm sometimes more reluctant to bike.

At least before I had a car, when it was very cold it was of choice of bicycle and be more uncomfortable for a shorter time or walk and be less uncomfortable but for a longer time. Even driving isn't a huge help for shorter distances, as it takes time for a car to warm up enough to get heat and I dislike letting my car idle forever.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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I never got into biking. Having never driven, I'm too intimidated by traffic.

I definitely agree with memph that the quality of the pedestrian environment makes a big difference. Sure, there might be a sidewalk between the stripmall parking lot and the busy street, but that doesn't make walking there a pleasant experience.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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I selected climate, safety and lack of sidewalks.

I've never lived anywhere without sidewalks, but I would imagine it makes you feel less protected from traffic. When we were in Boston we used to walk about 3-4 miles to the Target for shopping (grad school=no money/car). There was an intersection that had NO crosswalks and that was a huge impediment to walking. Not a deal breaker, but it made the walk much more uncomfortable.

Safety for obvious reasons - in LA my wife and I typically avoid walking under the 101 on quiet roads. Though it is probably safe, there are often transients sleeping under the passes and could possibly lead to an unfortunate circumstance. Better safe than sorry.

Climate is also a huge factor. I find in LA I don't mind walking relatively huge distances of 3-5 miles (particularly in Spring, Fall and Winter), partially just to enjoy the weather and surroundings. In Boston a lot of the walks I do here in LA would just be too uncomfortable, particularly in the humid summer months. The cold climate is less of a deterrent but it is pretty hard to walk a long distance on poorly cleared sidewalks in the winter (avoiding ice, jumping over large snow drifts, etc).
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Safety is the biggest factor -- both personal safety, and pedestrian safety.

For instance, there's a sub shop near my house that I like to patronize on occasion. It's well within walking distance, but to get there I have to cross a four-lane state highway that rarely has a hole in traffic long enough for me to cross the street. So if I want a turkey sub, I stop in on my way home from work, when I'm in the car; I don't want it bad enough to stand at the corner for 10 minutes waiting to be able to cross the street. I will walk, however, to businesses where I don't have to cross that street.

Most of my errands are done on the way home from work on weekdays anyway, even if I'm going somewhere that's within walking distance of my house. I figure I'm out already, why not do what I need to do before I get home?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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Lack of sidewalks, mostly, and the resulting problems of either trying to walk in the street or through front yards or parking lots. In TN the weather was also a factor for me. Just walking to the end of the street and back would have me covered in sweat May through September.
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