The SF Gate reports today that the website WalkScore.com has named San Francisco the country's most "walkable" city.
San Francisco scored an 86 out of 100, besting New York's 83 and Boston's 79. Seventeen of San Francisco's neighborhoods ranked 90 or above - considered a "walker's paradise" - including Chinatown, the Mission, Nob Hill and Haight-Ashbury.This report follows SFMTA's new Pedestrian Master Plan which aims to make the city more walkable, focusing on pedestrian safety and access to transit.
"That says that San Francisco isn't just isolated pockets of walkability, but broad swaths," said Mike Mathieu, chairman and founder of Front Seat. "If you live and work in San Francisco, you know this. It means it's easier to get around, even with the hills."
The ability to conveniently travel by foot to services and jobs matters for a number of reasons. Studies show it means people get more exercise, drive fewer miles and consequently spend less on gas and produce fewer greenhouse emissions. Walkability also means there are people on the sidewalks, in stores and at restaurants, making neighborhoods livelier and, for many, more attractive.
"It's both healthy for the Earth and for humans to be able to walk to most of the places they need," said Kate White, executive director of the San Francisco office of the Urban Land Institute, a planning group. "Your carbon footprint is significantly lower than someone who has to drive everywhere ... and you're able to have real neighborhoods where you're not totally separated from your neighbors."