Thursday, July 06, 2023

Walking To The Shops

A problem facing "urbanists" in America is that even many of them have a hard time understanding that you don't need "Manhattan" or even "Copenhagen" to have basic walkability in daily life. Places where you can't "walk to the shops" [and the bus stop] - even in fairly small towns and rural communities - are odd, not the norm, most places in Europe.
That doesn't mean everywhere is a pedestrian/transit paradise or people don't own cars. Small places have a limited range of "shops" [local services] and not at least having a household car isn't practical.

But generally there is something resembling a 'town center' that has a few amenities and in general "walking to places" - shops, the bus stop, a little bar/cafe, your friends' houses - is a thing one can do.  The bus might have shit service, of course, but it exists, usually.

Anyway my point is, basically, building basic walkability isn't hard! Everybody does it everywhere! It's weird not to!

Consider, for example, every American suburban housing development that abuts a supermarket anchored strip mall, but there's a wall between them so the 600 foot crow flies distance is, instead, a 1.5 mile walk down a stroad with no sidewalk. Chisel a path through the wall and suddenly you can walk to the supermarket!

Also scary people can walk into your neighborhood, so who is to say if it's good or bad.