Walking in DC welcomes you! A new study, published this month by the George Washington University School of Business and Smart Growth America, has named DC the second most walkable city in the US. The GW school, an advocacy group, looked at the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas and ranked them according to their walkability.
New York City was ranked Number 1, followed by DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle. Coming in last were San Antonio, Phoenix and Orlando.
What does walkability mean? Information from the Washington Post shows that the report counted the number of “walkable urban places,” or what they referred to as WalkUPs, in each of the metropolitan areas. WalkUPs include downtown areas like Chinatown; areas surrounding downtown such as Dupont Circle; commercial districts like Columbia Heights; and university campus areas. Suburban areas, too, like Tysons Corner and the Reston Town Center, also count as a type of WalkUP.
To identify the WalkUPs, according to the Post, the authors also factored in the amount of office and retail space in the area, as well as the area’s “walk score,” which is essentially a measure of how car-dependent daily errands are. For example, a walk score of 90 and above means that daily errands don’t require a car, while anything below 50 means that it would be hard to get by without a vehicle.
Like to walk to work? The Post points out that the “District has a relatively high number of commuters who walk to work: 12.1 percent, according to Census Bureau data. This makes DC the second highest walking-to-work city in the nation, just behind Boston and ahead of Pittsburgh and New York.”
All good news for people who like to walk!
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