There was a time when people could walk to a “Mom and Pop” store or head to a restaurant on a whim, without a car. That’s no longer a reality in most metropolitan cities because of zoning laws that isolate residential areas and retail shopping areas. These barriers make it nearly impossible for people to live without a car. However, there are still some pedestrian-friendly cities in the United States. Take a look at these five best places to live.
The laws in Seattle strongly support pedestrian safety. For instance, pedestrians always get the right away at crosswalks, but police officers don’t think twice about ticketing jaywalkers. This results in one of the lowest pedestrian death rates in the United States per capita — that’s pretty pedestrian friendly. Seattle also promotes non-gasoline methods of transportation, such as biking and carpooling. This keeps parking congestion in the city to a minimum.
Austin is home to several walking and hiking trails as well as a great urban park system. This promotes spending time outdoors without the need for a car. The “Walk Texas!” program was implemented to teach people the importance of getting exercise to stay healthy and avoid chronic diseases, such as Type II diabetes. The program hosts challenges to help people walk more and many shops, restaurants, and venues also get on board by promoting this healthy lifestyle with incentives.
The center of Boulder is the Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall. It has retail shops, cafes, and rental properties all within close proximity of each other. This makes it a great place to live without a car. Boulder is also a college town that promotes bike transportation and public transit. Of course, it is also a beautiful place to live because of the mountain scenery that you can enjoy from the many urban parks within the parkland ring.
Raleigh, North Carolina
A lot of people describe Raleigh as “a park with a city in it.” This is because it is surrounded by so much greenery that everyone always wants to be outside. The city is also nicknamed “The City of Oaks,” because you can’t get away from these gorgeous trees. There are 9,000 acres of parkland in Raleigh with plenty of walking and hiking trails. Additionally, Capital Square is a four-block market full of retail shopping, restaurants, and other attractions for pedestrians.
The parking is so terrible and expensive in Washington DC that most people are forced to use public transportation. However, Washington DC has one of the best transit systems in the United States. The metro system will take you practically anywhere you want to go in and near Washington DC. There is so much to see and do in Washington DC, and one of the best things is that most of the attractions are located close enough to each other that you can walk from venue to venue.
These are just a few of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the United States. Others include Xenia, Ohio; Portland, Maine; Eureka Springs, Arkansas; and Burlington Vermont. Do you have any other cities you think should be included on the list? Leave your suggestions in a comment below.