If you’re the type that likes to walk rather than drive, finding a neighborhood that’s close to your favorite places and safe enough to allow for your pedestrian lifestyle is important. If you’re moving soon and want to ensure you find a neighborhood that meets all your pedestrian needs, follow the guide below.
Do Some Research
The Internet makes it really easy to find out almost anything you want to know, including the walkability factor of a neighborhood. Some websites allow people to review and rate their neighborhoods, which will give you some idea of how walkable a community is.
While these websites are helpful, they won’t give you the true walkability of a neighborhood. Things like the number of people who live there, the nearby places to walk to, the crime rate, and how close the neighborhood is to public transportation are all factors in determining how walkable a neighborhood really is.
Look for Parks and Main Street Business Districts
Parks and Main Street business districts encourage people to walk. Look for these things in or near a neighborhood when walking is important to you.
Walk the Neighborhood Virtually
Before visiting the neighborhood in person, use Google Maps Street View to take a virtual walk of the neighborhood. Keep in mind, however, that since you don’t know when the images were taken, this virtual tour may not tell the whole story.
Walk the Neighborhood in Person
Visit the neighborhood in person a few times and walk it yourself at different times of the day. Take note of how much pedestrian traffic there is and whether the businesses you’d frequent are open when you’d need them.
Look for Walkable Features
Crosswalks, pedestrian signals at intersections, sidewalks, and cut-out curbs that slope are all walkable features designed just for pedestrian traffic. Look for these things as you gauge whether a neighborhood meets your walking needs.
How’s the Commute?
When public transportation is nearby and easily accessible, more people are likely to walk and use them. How close is the nearest public transport? Do you notice other people walking to and from them as part of their daily commute?
What Dining Spots are Nearby?
Look for dining spots nearby. Are there many options to choose from? Is it easy to get to them on foot? The more choices people have and the closer they are to the neighborhood will encourage people to leave their cars at home and step out on foot for a bite to eat.
Do a “Near Me” Search Online
While visiting the neighborhood, get out your phone and do a “near me” search for businesses you use. Are they close by? Would you walk to them often? How easy is it to navigate the route?
If you’re planning to move soon and being able to walk places in your new neighborhood is important, be sure to follow the guide above to estimate its walkability factor before deciding to live there.