A New Tool for Measuring Walkability

Steve Mouzon finds fault with the uniform application of the 1/4 mile walkability radius, regardless of context. And, in the first in a series of articles, he introduces a new tool for understanding and building walkable places.

Mouzon takes aim at the quarter-mile radius (or 5-minute walk), "which has been held up for a century as the distance Americans will walk before driving," calling it "a myth." In its place he proposes the use of a new tool - "Walk Appeal" - to describe walkability, which in this article he aligns with the transect. As the transect become less dense and more suburban, the comfortable walking radius actually shrinks - all the way to 25 feet along a sidewalk which runs between an arterial thoroughfare and a surface parking lot. 

Future posts will look at the metrics that determine which Walk Appeal setting a particular streetscape achieves, how Walk Appeal can predict the viability of walkable neighborhood businesses, and the differences that Walk Appeal streetscape repairs can make in order to cast a broader net for walking customers, writes Mouzon.

Full Story: Walk Appeal


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