A Walking City

Recently in an email conversation with the other writers on Philadelphia Metroblogging, we all shared what we love about Philadelphia, and walkability was mentioned by almost all of us. (Seriously, I didn’t make it up – “walkability” is a word. See this checklist from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which considers factors such as room to walk, ease of crossing streets, well behaved drivers, and pleasantness.) But then Marisa noticed that Philly is only ranked number 87 out of 100 Best Walking Cities by Prevention Magazine, which seemed rather counterintuitive.

However, the difference seems to be about whether a city is good for walking as exercise, or whether a city is good for walking as a means of transportation. And while I can’t really comment on whether this is a good city for walking as exercise, I do think think it’s a fantastic city for walking as a means of transportation. This is one of the things I loved most about living in New York City and liked least about living in Baltimore (it’s easy enough to walk around your own neighborhood there, but people wouldn’t necessarily walk from neighborhood to neighborhood). I think a lot of things contribute to transportation walkability like safety and interesting things to see/do along the way. Like my walk to work over the Schuylkill River – I love crossing that river with the skyline receding behind me as I walk to work.

Anyway, all of this is a preface to this picture I took last week of a cute couple walking home in the warming-to-spring weather (or at least, I think they’re walking home – though, do they take their dog with them to work?).

The weather forecast for today only shows a high of 47 (but a feels-like high of only 40), but Thursday will be a positively balmy 65 (not sure what the feels like will be though, and there may also be some rain). I have to say that I am really looking forward to walking comfortably over that river for once.


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1 Comment so far

  1. addie (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 10:13 am

    i have to say, based on behavior of drivers alone, this city belongs at place 87, if not lower. i can’t count how many times every single day someone rolls right up to me while i’m trying to cross a street, in the crosswalk, where the driver has a stop sign. i also can’t count the number of times i’ve been called nasty names for getting mad that someone’s almost hit me, or the number of times a cop has been sitting idly by while it all happens. it’s crazy, and it makes me not want to live here anymore.



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