Thursday, June 11, 2015

Walking and Access to Jobs

A newly-released report from the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota ranks the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the US based on accessibility to jobs on foot. According to Access Across America:Walking 2014, New York has the highest job accessibility by walking. As you can see by the map below, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs within walking distance in Manhattan and the surrounding neighborhoods, but the entire region provides fairly good access to jobs on foot.

Compare New York to San Diego, where even the densest neighborhoods can't offer many jobs within easy walking distance.

The study will provide a basis for future work on walking and employment access. According to the authors, "Using this data as a starting point, future reports in the Access Across America series will track the way that accessibility in these metropolitan areas evolves in response to transportation and safety investments and land use decisions." It's important to have a baseline; one the big challenges in pedestrian advocacy is simply a lack of data about walking. With studies like this, we'll have a better understanding of existing conditions for pedestrians, which can help us determine how to effectively improve walking conditions.

You can find the full ranking of cities in the report, but here's the top ten:

1. New York
2. San Francisco
3. Los Angeles
4. Chicago
5. Washington
6. Seattle
7. Boston
8. Philadelphia
9. San Jose
10. Denver

And one last map, for people who continue to insist that LA is only for driving. Take a look at all of that green and yellow...

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