Walkability Is About the Details, Not the Size of the City

By Mike McGinn

Sometimes people think that walkability is about big cities, but really it is about neighborhoods and places. A small town can have a great walkable and rollable core. And a big city can have horribly hostile places to people outside of cars. It comes down to the details – calm streets, accessibility, mixed uses, trees, plazas, sidewalks, a welcoming attitude, and more. We can talk about the details at length (and we do!), but this piece is sparked by a great video by City Nerd about “the best smaller cities with great transit.”

At America Walks, we think of transit as “the middle leg of a walking trip.” Or a walking and rolling range extender. Great local transit is essential, particularly when you consider how many people are non-drivers or will be at some point in their life.

So this video was great at calling out the small cities that get transit right, and compare favorably to big city transit systems. No spoilers about which cities did best, watch it yourself. My takeaway is that transit is for lots of towns if we are willing to invest.