What is a walkable neighborhood?

I have noticed that when my clients refer to walkability they don’t all mean the same thing. I have heard people define neighborhoods with few sidewalks as walkable because there is a park nearby.

If there is a grocery store two blocks away but it is on the other side of a freeway or road that does not have a safe pedestrian crossing.

Walkable neighborhoods have sidewalks and streets that can be crossed on foot. Walking has to be easy and practical. In a walkable neighborhood, it is easy to walk to nearby businesses, libraries, parks, and other amenities.

For me “nearby” is within a mile. Even in the winter, I am willing to walk a mile. I will walk further but I don’t always have time for that.

It is debatable if neighborhoods where cars do not stop at crosswalks or where electric scooter are allowed to ride on the sidewalk or where the sidewalks have huge cracks, heaves, snow and potholes are walkable.

If walkability is an important consideration when buying a home, don’t just look at how close the home is to businesses and amenities make sure that it is possible or even easy to walk to the businesses and amenities.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email