Jacksonville: One of America's Least Walkable Cities

November 19, 2013 47 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The good news is Jacksonville is a more walkable friendly city than Charlotte. The bad news is that isn't saying much. Here is a look at Walk Score's 2014 ranking of America's most walkable cities.

Just in time for 2014 New Year’s resolutions to live healthier and save money, Walk Score® issued the company’s 2014 ranking of Most Walkable U.S. Cities and Neighborhoods. The new ranking helps empower Americans to find places to live that offer a breadth of nearby amenities including food, entertainment, shopping, schools and parks as well as easy access to bike lanes, car shares and public transit so they can leave their cars at home more often.  

The 2014 ranking of Most Walkable U.S. Cities and Neighborhoods is based on a proprietary algorithm and analysis of over 10 million addresses and over 2 billion walking routes to neighborhood amenities across 2,500 cities and more than 10,000 neighborhoods. Walk Score’s ranking is the only national, quantitative walkability rating. Cities and neighborhoods are rated on a scale of 0-100, with locations receiving a score of 90-100 deemed a “Walker’s Paradise.”

Independent research has demonstrated that living in walkable neighborhoods with good public transit contributes to a happier and healthier lifestyle. In fact, the majority of Americans rate being within a short commute to work and within an easy walk of neighborhood amenities as key criteria when deciding where to live. This trend is even more pronounced among Millennials (age approximately 18-30), 70% of whom rate walkability as important or vital when deciding where to live and one third of whom will pay more for the ability to easily walk to shops, work and entertainment.
• Between 2001 and 2009, the average annual number of vehicle-miles traveled by young people (16 to 34 year-olds) declined 23 percent.

• The average American spends over $9,000 per year on their car making cars the second largest
expense for most households, costing more than food, clothing and health care.

• The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs eight pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood.

“The typical American family spends 1/5th of their income on transportation and countless hours are wasted commuting long distances,” said Jeff Speck author, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save
America, One Step at a Time. “Walk Score is leading the way in helping people make smart and informed decisions about where to live. Nothing makes as big of an impact on your health and quality of life as finding a better commute and living in a walkable neighborhood.”

With all of that said, if you know Jacksonville, it's not surprising that Florida's largest city ranks near the bottom of the list.

This sidewalk-less scene is pretty common for walkers navigating Jacksonville's landscape.

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