The automobile is one of the most important inventions of the past few centuries, but that doesn’t mean we all want to feel trapped in them on a daily basis. Sometimes it would be nice if a trip to the store to get a carton of milk didn’t have to include getting into a car. For people who are looking to put a little bit of distance between themselves and their cars, ‘walkability’ is important when it comes to determining the best cities for forgoing the automobile and rediscovering some of the pleasures of our bipedal nature.
The Redfin company, Walk Score, analyzed more than 10 million locations and computed more than 2 billion walking routes for 2,500 U.S. cities and then used the Street Smart Walk Score algorithm to determine which U.S. cities are the most walkable in 2016, Redfin reports.
Each of the cities in the top 10 increased their Walk Score ratings from 2015, meaning the most walkable cities in the country are becoming even more walkable. Not only that, but only two cities in the top 50 improved their scores by less than a point; Honolulu and Columbus.
The most walkable city in the country (with a population of more than 300,000) was New York with a Walk Score of 88.9, 1.3 points higher than last year. San Francisco was second on the list with a score of 85.7, a 1.7-point increase form 2015. Boston (80.1), Philadelphia (78.3), and Miami (78.2) rounded out the top five.
Of cities in the top 10, Long Beach, Calif. saw the largest jump from 2015 at 3.2 percent. That increase was just enough for Long Beach to edge out Baltimore and represent the first Southern California city to make the top 10. For the past two years not a single city in the Southern California region was among the 10 most walkable in the country. Of the top 50 cities, Omaha had the largest year-over-year increase with a 4.3-point improvement bringing its total score to 45.4. While this score is still considered ‘car dependent’ the gain is still impressive.
To view the entire list of most walkable U.S. cities, click the link below.