Walkability report takes in-depth look at neighborhoods
Improving D.C.’s walkability should go beyond infrastructure fixes to account for levels of policing, environmental quality, and other factors that affect how much people walk, according to new research.
Why it matters: The pandemic and the rise of remote work have made walkability even more important as Washingtonians spend more time in their own communities. “People want more out of their neighborhoods,” Urban Institute researcher Yonah Freemark tells Axios.
State of play: Washington has a walkability disparity — areas with large numbers of people of color, people with physical disabilities, and low-income families are facing some of the biggest challenges when it comes to getting around.
Details: The Urban Institute’s walkability report included policing, which impacts a community’s comfort level with walking; proximity to places to walk such as schools, parks, bus stops, and jobs, environmental quality, infrastructure, and safety.
- Areas toward the center of the city such as Chinatown and Shaw struggle most with environmental impacts on walkability, including air quality, noise pollution, shade, and vegetation.
- Communities east of the Anacostia River, including Congress Heights and Anacostia, are more heavily policed and have poor sidewalks and infrastructure and poor access to resources.
- The city’s wealthiest areas are unsurprisingly the most walkable.
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