Often, I read about Europeans talking about how they have great transportation systems, and can get anywhere they need without a car. Without having to move to another country - or continent for that matter - I think it would be in the best interest of Americans to promote walk-able cities.
I am a hardcore pedestrian in that I walk up to six miles a day, four to five days a week, and only use the bus for longer trips. However, even people I know who drive have pointed out it would be nice if we had more sidewalks in communities and green belt areas.
All the austerity talk about cutting funding for cities is getting to be stale toast at this point, and perhaps it is time businesses step up to the plate and build more sidewalks and green belt areas for walking. Invest in your local community so people will be willing to shop at your local business. Yes, I also think big box stores that come into town could do more for local communities.
Even people who drive in Southern California complain they will not go to certain stores because the parking is horrendous, and this could be changed if stores and local businesses created park like pedestrian walking malls with a parking structure at one end. There is one in my city, but it is only two or three blocks. I think we need more of these!
We could create more jobs for local communities by having landscaping and community gardens along these pedestrian walking malls, and businesses could invest in these things, as a way to promote the quality of life in urban areas. These green belts would cut down on carbon emissions beause tree provide oxyogen, which is something that is not being discussed with all the austerity talk that is in vogue at the moment.
I do live in a city with relatively good sidewalks compared to many cities, but I still think more could be done to improve mass transit and walkablity.
What is the walk-ability where you live? What can be done to improve pedestrian access in more American cities?
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