March 09, 2007

city walkability

Madison, Wisconsin, has been voted "the most walkable of the country's 100 most populated cities" (from CNN, via Madisonian blogger Althouse). In case you were wondering:

Factors contributing to the ranking were air quality, the percentage of people who walk to work, access to parks, number of athletic shoes sold, and (believe it or not) weather. Number of beaches versus frozen lakes apparently was not a factor. Crime rate, unfortunately for Miami, was.

There's something about the word walkable in connection with city that strikes me as odd. A debatable point is a point that can be debated, a walkable distance is a distance that can be walked, but a walkable city is not just a city that can be walked, there's a lot more to it. I guess I still consider walk very much an intransitive verb - I don't walk cities, I walk around in them.

ETA: Here's corroborating evidence from another (sort of) Madisonian.

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