What America’s Most Walkable Suburb Can Teach Towns Everywhere


| 4/14/2015 10:21:00 AM


Walk Cities

Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car—going to work, school, the grocery store, the mall, soccer practice and friends’ homes. Some people even drive to take a walk.

That’s changing now, just like the stereotype of suburbs as places where everyone’s white, married with children and plays golf at the country club.  From Bethesda, Maryland to Edina, Minnesota to Kirkland, Washington, citizens are reinventing their towns to better accommodate walkers.  Traffic is being tamed on busy streets. New sidewalks and trails are being constructed. Business districts are coming to life thanks to growing foot traffic.

Leading the charge are suburban leaders who see their communities’ continuing prosperity and quality-of-life dependent on creating lively walkable places that attract young people, families and businesses wanting to locate where the action is.  Walking is gaining popularity across the US for both transportation and recreation because it improves health, fosters community and saves money.

The best place to experience the future of suburban living is Arlington County, Virginia, right across the Potomoc River from Washington, DC.  Built up during the 1950s, ‘40s and late ‘30s, after autos already dominated American life, it’s a classic suburb full of freestanding homes with driveways and green lawns.  Nonetheless it’s been named one of the 14 best “Walk Friendly” communities in America by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center at the University of North Carolina and one of the 25 Best Cities for Walking by Prevention magazine.



A Day in the Life of America’s Most Walkable Suburb

 Walkable Cities



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