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“50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets”

We’re hearing all the time about the importance of walkable cities. At the same time, there are people who just don’t believe the hype. Either that, or they just don’t have the time or the energy to care, and that’s too bad. It’s too bad, because walkable cities are proving, time and time again, to be the best cities. Don’t believe me?

In 2016, www.fastcoexist.com cited 50 well documented reasons that cities should be paying closer attention to the issue of walkability. From health issues to anti-crime measures to boosting tourism to beautification measures, the benefits of creating walkable cities are enormous.

In Brooklyn, redesigning a parking lot into a pedestrian plaza boosted retail sales 172%.

So the next time that you find yourself talking about the pros and cons of bike planes, parking lots, and environmental sustainability, be sure to arm yourself with as many founded reasons for walkability that you can. Start by arming yourself with 50, and you’re off to a tremendous start!

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Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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  • Bringing back Buffalo

    It’s a chicken and egg hypothesis. I have yet to see any studies show that if you build it they will come. Drop a walkable neighborhood down in some WV town and see what happens……nothing. Places become “walkable” because of many external factors.

    • G Orty

      It’s definitely the egg. There is no bike line that springs up out of the free market, nor is a form-based code just a consequence of some city neighborhoods that happen to have a high walkability score. In your example of a WV town (that can only be assumed to be struggling to meet basic quality of life standards based on your subtle classism) the people would still benefit from services within walking distance to home – and likely more so than anyone in your neighborhood. Do you really need research studies to tell you a grocery store next door is better for you than one three miles away?

      • Bringing back Buffalo

        Considering the whole preface of the article was that walkable neighborhoods have multiple benefits once implemented, I think is false. You’ll never see highly walkable neighborhoods in poor communities that would meet the criteria expressed above. That being said walkable neighborhoods on their own are overrated.

        • MrGreenJeans

          “Look up” the big words, before making a fool of yourself. The article had no “preface” , it had a ‘ pretense’. When did you drop out of high school?

          Then there’s the word “pretentious”, which applies to you in this case. If you cannot write above a 4th Grade level, at least stick to words you can understand.

          • Bringing back Buffalo

            Your approximation that my usage of the word preface and how it does not fit the lexicon I evoked in my post, is specious, at best. But, the pretentious part is probably pretty accurate.

          • G Orty

            Your assertion that my use of the word preface, and how it does not fit the sentiment that I expressed in my post, is dubious, at best, but the “pretentious” part is probably accurate.

            There, I fixed it for you. Don’t hurt yourself with that heavy sword, called language.

          • Matt Marcinkiewicz

            he meant neither preface nor pretense but premise.

      • Farras09

        “Do you really need research studies to tell you a grocery store next door is better for you than one three miles away?”

        The presence of a grocery store nearby is not what walkability means. It is about the way roads, traffic laws, parking laws, public transport, sidewalks, bike lanes, etc. are set up to as to encourage people to walk around instead of drive. There is a trade off between making a space more walkable and more driveable. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Walkability only becomes a problem when there is enough demand in an area to bring a great deal of traffic and congestion to it. No one is complaining about the walkability of areas with no auto traffic.

        • G Orty

          No, walkability has everything to do with proximity of services – mixed-use neighborhoods. Road diets and pedestrian facilities do nothing to increase people walking if there’s nowhere they will walk to. Pedestrian-friendly road infrastructure design is merely a measure implemented to facilitate access to those services and other destinations, although it is critical.

          • MrGreenJeans

            You are completely correct in your understanding that “walkable” must include everyday destinations. When I lived in Brooklyn, I was in a neighborhood without “rich people” at all – mostly Jamaicans and other folks from that part of the world (meaning: My house contained the only Honkies to be seen, there and in the course of walking a mile to my post office) …. More than once, I started the coffee brewing & found no milk in the fridge. I could put on my coat, trot one block around the corner to the Flatbush Ave C-Town grocery, get my milk, and be back home as the coffee machine finished its business.

            Yes, much of Buffalo is physically “walkable”, but it lacks good, practical destinations of everyday use.

            Walkable neighbors are NOT “overrated”, as Bringing Back claims. I won’t drink all of Jane Jacobs’ (not her real name, btw) Kool-Aid, but a neighborhood where you can walk to a nearby grocery, Deli, hardware store, corner Bar, Library, and anything else you might need is truly a “walkable” neighborhood. It would be even nicer if the route was not littered with beggars, whores, druggies looking for a fix, and scumbags out to commit armed robbery.

            I’m closer to Grant than Elmwood ( for now, but I might move into one of my better properties, because my current location is becoming intolerable, with rampant drug trading, morons ZOOMING from one stop sign to the next ( few of them even bother to pretend to touch the brake pedal) . Slow the F*UCK down, idiots!

            “You’ll never see highly walkable neighborhoods in poor communities” ?? What? NO! WRONG! That’s where most of them are! Poor people in big cities cannot afford a car, and MUST walk to attend everyday activities.

            “Overrated” = traditional neighborhoods with amenities a few minutes away? What is your contrary concept, pray tell…

          • Bringing back Buffalo

            You mad, bro?

            “Poor people in big cities cannot afford a car, and MUST walk to attend everyday activities.”

            Not true. Poor people in LA don’t walk anywhere. Also, to use NYC as the definition of a big city is disingenuous at best.

            “Yes, much of Buffalo is physically “walkable”, but it lacks good, practical destinations of everyday use.”

            Right there you just car bombed your own argument. So, it’s less about a walkable neighborhood and more about amenities, correct?

          • Farras09

            Yes but that is the whole point in the first place then isn’t it? Walk-able neighborhoods develop organically from the development of businesses and other attractions within those neighborhoods. So why do we need to focus our efforts on “making” the city walk-able?

            I understand a neighborhood must have a draw to entice people to walk around but every neighborhood, whether its trying to be walk-able or not, wants business and attractions so I don’t think this is exclusively an issue of walk-ability. It’s more an issue of neighborhood development in general.

  • eagercolin

    “Don’t mind me — I’m just kneeling in the crosswalk.”

    • 300miles

      We’re hearing all the time about the importance of kneelable cities. At the same time, there are people who just don’t believe the hype and that’s too bad. It’s too bad, because kneelable cities are proving, time and time again, to be the best cities.

  • Johnny Pizza

    The “facts” sounded more like a Hydroxycut commercial for mayors.

    “Do you want rock solid neighborhoods? With just a few bike lanes your local real estate prices could rise over 500%”