And we're back....to San Diego, that is. Moving might have its tribulations, but on the up side we've taken our already-respectable WalkScore from 78 to a stellar 94 in our (albeit temporary) new neighborhood. What do those extra 16 points mean? They mean we walk for nearly all our daily errands, from buying milk to mailing packages. They mean we've added at least 20 minutes of physical activity into our typical routine without really thinking about it. They mean our transportation costs (particularly on gas) have dropped tremendously.
They don't mean we've given up driving to work. Or to visit friends. Or even to the park a mile up the road. Even in this so-called "walker's paradise" there are still many times when a car is just an easier choice. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing. We often talk about how much more walkable cities that developed before the car are, but even in those pre-driving cities people still needed the horse and cart occasionally. The problem comes when we have to use our cars for every single trip, even ones that should be easier on foot. That doesn't mean everyone needs to live in a high-rise apartment building, but it does mean that we should be working to create cities with a density and diversity of uses that make walking the simpler choice for a variety of trips.