Stretching the limits of walkability: comparing walk and bus trips in urban Seattle neighborhoods
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This study challenges traditional distance-based notions of walkability. The objective of this research was to determine whether it is feasible and realistic to replace relatively short bus trips with walking in urban Seattle, Washington neighborhoods. Through the collection of sixty data points, comparing walking and taking the bus from three origin points of varying distance (2.3, 1.5, and 0.9 miles) to the same location helped to determine that taking the bus is always fastest, less reliable, and less energy intensive than walking. However, the point at which walking becomes faster than taking the bus is a critical distance--0.9 miles--and is the upper limit at which the neighborhoods based in this study are deemed walkable. The comparability of travel time between walking and taking the bus at this distance shows that traditional distance-based definitions of walkability--usually 0.5 miles and less--may need to be extended under certain urban conditions.
- Urban planning