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Walk Appeal


Can you walk to buy fresh vegetables? How many minutes of walking takes you to your morning coffee? Are the streets along the way shaded in summer? Or can you walk to these places at all?

"How long does it take you to walk around a block at an easy pace in a recovering neighborhood? 5 minutes or less: look for a place to live. 4 minutes or less: open your shop there. 3 minutes or less: quick... open a sidewalk cafe! SimpleIndicatorComplexCondition"

Look closely at front porches and see how many have signs of life. There are two reasons people don’t sit on porches: they’re too close to the sidewalk to be so low, or too low to be so close. Unsittable porches are just expensive decoration.

People sitting outdoors are a great sign of good #urbanism on many counts including: 1. Of all things in town, we find people most interesting. 2. They attract more people so the place thrives. 3. People sit where it feels like an outdoor room. SimpleIndicatorComplexCondition

People walk slower if the #urbanism is interesting, and faster if it is boring or scary. Walking at window-shopping speed is the best sign of an interesting place. SimpleIndicatorComplexCondition

Find street performers and you’re likely in a place with high #WalkAppeal surrounded by good #urbanism. Has anyone ever in the past century seen a mime in a Walmart parking lot? A street artist in a subdivision? A musician in an office park? SimpleIndicatorComplexCondition

For most of the decades since 1945 #sprawl was easy to spot because it was the places with no sidewalks. Now, billions are spent on sidewalks that will never be used. The key to walking isn’t just the sidewalk, but what surrounds it both on the street side and the building side.

Those who live in the city don’t have the need for speed because they’re already there. Why should the suburbs get to impose their need for speed on the city? Especially since it makes the city a less #sustainable place and kills Walk Appeal? Make a living where you’re living!

A four foot sidewalk indicates your town isn't serious about people walking. Two people can't walk comfortably side-by-side on a four-foot sidewalk, and two people passing each other have to turn sideways to pass without bumping each other.

The most poisonous condition to a #MainStreet is a parking lot just behind the sidewalk. People hate walking there, and businesses all along the street suffer from this blockage to free flow of people walking. It’s #WalkAppeal poison.

Sidewalk cafes are so important to #WalkAppeal on a #MainStreet that cities should give a tax break to every business with a sidewalk cafe. Properly priced, it would be one of the best investments a city could make, and on several counts.

High-speed traffic is a #WalkAppealPoison that can be fatal, especially if there's no on-street parking protecting people on the sidewalk. Not many people enjoy walking in a place where their lives are in danger.

Boredom or pedestrians - take your pick. You can't have both on a street. Pedestrians don't like to be bored, and will stay home if your street isn't interesting. #WalkAppeal thrives on interesting streets.

Build #WalkAppeal in a neighborhood and greater prosperity is likely to follow because many good things happen in places people love to walk. Places with inherently low Walk Appeal like many production-builder subdivisions tend to have low upsides.

Walkable neighborhood businesses cannot thrive in places with low #WalkAppeal, condemning those places to #BigBoxStores, which are usually discarded by retailers once they're fully depreciated, leaving decrepit wastelands behind. Look around; every city has them.

Liner buildings have several strong benefits: They screen ugly things like parking lots, they have the best storefront-to-square footage ratio in retail and therefore build #WalkAppeal, they create space more inexpensively than any other means and can be portable like food carts.

Walk Appeal is the heartbeat that impels people to walk through a #LivingCity, and is the factor most responsible for the economic health, environmental health, and public health of the place. #SignsOfLife

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