The Benefits of Walkable Communities

The City of San Diego is aiming to put pedestrians first. As Walter Chambers – Founder of Great Streets San Diego – relates in an interview with walksandiego.org , “What most people want in their communities are pleasant, walkable streets. They want restaurants with outdoor cafes, lots of shops and services nearby, and they like to run into friends on the street. They want great architecture and an interesting environment.”  What he is saying here echoes sentiments that most of us are concerned with; building relationships and sharing experiences. It’s adding the urban to the suburban. When presented with how to choose an apartment, checking what is within walking distance is not only smart, it enhances your quality of life. The notable benefits of living in a pedestrian-friendly or bike-friendly community include:

1. Having a walker’s paradise. You start having the mindset that daily errands no longer require an automobile. You can walk, bike or even take a small moped to the store. At the downtown San Diego community of Little Italy, you have a burger lounge, local 7-11 convenience store, and café within a minute’s walk.

2. Encourages physical activity. Trim your waistline with an activity as simple as a brisk walk. According to the Mayo Clinic staff, taking a walk can help lift your mood, prevent or manage conditions such as heart disease and diabetes type 2, strengthen your bones and help with balance and coordination. The more you walk, the more you benefit.

Pedestrian Friendly Sign

3. Speeds are reduced. In the Otay Ranch community, residential streets are much narrower than conventional streets and forces cars to abide by posted speed limits. In addition, protected lanes each reserved for cyclists, pedestrians and cars decreases the likelihood of accidents and collisions.

"Gauchetière Street, pedestrian section (take 2), Montreal 2005-10-21". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gaucheti%C3%A8re_Street,_pedestrian_section_(take_2),_Montreal_2005-10-21.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Gaucheti%C3%A8re_Street,_pedestrian_section_(take_2),_Montreal_2005-10-21.JPG

“Gauchetière Street, pedestrian section (take 2), Montreal 2005-10-21”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gaucheti%C3%A8re_Street,_pedestrian_section_(take_2),_Montreal_2005-10-21.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Gaucheti%C3%A8re_Street,_pedestrian_section_(take_2),_Montreal_2005-10-21.JPG

4. Keeping up with the global demand for walkable communities. Speaking of bringing us up to speed, the global economy is affording workers opportunities to relocate cities and with that said, attracting talent is a competitive business. Offering increased mobility and convenience for residents by living in close proximity to mass transit, shops, schools and dining, shows that San Diego is a modern place to live and work.

5. Boosting the economy. Shopping districts depend on walkability to attract customers like you. Don’t you agree that shopping, eating, and socializing happens in pedestrian environments (Economic Value of Walkability)? This is something that Shop Chula Vista hopes to capitalize on.

6. Walking and cycling provide an affordable way to move. Instead of spending money on fuel, put savings back into your wallet by choosing to drive less. Reducing motor vehicle use means less wear and tear on the car, less money spent on maintenance and insurance coverage, and less time spent sitting idle in traffic. (Image courtesy of Canva.com)

efficient ways to get around the city

When searching for that ideal apartment, choose one that offers the benefits of walkability to enhance your lifestyle, encourages you to meet new people, and saves you money in the long run. Happy walking!

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