America's "Worst Walking City" Gets Back on its Feet


| 4/6/2016 9:43:00 AM


Tags: walking neighborhoods, health, transportation,

City

Oklahoma City has recently worked to improve pedestrian conditions throughout the city.

The US gave up on walking in the mid-20th Century — at least planners and politicians did. People on foot were virtually banished from newly constructed neighborhoods. Experts assured us that cars and buses (and eventually helicopters and jet packs) would efficiently take us everywhere we wanted to go.

Thankfully, most Americans refused to stop walking. Today — even after seventy years of auto-centered transportation policies — more than 10 percent of all trips are on foot, according to Paul Herberling of the US Department of Transportation. That number rises to 28 percent for trips under one mile.

Indeed, we are in the midst of a walking renaissance as millions of people discover a daily stroll can prevent disease, boost energy, ease stress, connect us with our communities, and is just plain fun. The number of us who regularly take a walk has risen six percent in the last decade, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to a new study from the National Association of Realtors.

79 percent of Americans — even higher for those under 35 — want to live in a place that’s walkable.