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Becoming a Better Walking City, Step by Step

April 9, 2009

You’ll have to forgive my lack of posts as I was out of town for the past few days. It appears I missed a lot, including the Long Beach Bike Fest, which apparently went over pretty well. One thing I was semi-pleased to hear upon arriving was the recent rating of Los Angeles as the #14 most walkable city in the nation by Prevention.com. Those of you with long-term memories might even recollect that this isn’t even the best we’ve done; a while ago, Walkscore.com rated LA as the #9 most walkable city in the country. Woo hoo! This is cause for celebration, mostly because there are still plenty of people out there who dogmatically believe LA to be the worst place to walk, and these stories go a long way in overturning those stereotypes.

While Prevention.com claims that its compilation is geared toward people who are both “hoofing it for fitness or to help the environment”, you have to consider that they are primarily a health-based news source, and their findings probably reflect a bias toward recreational walking as opposed to utility walking. To wit: their brief synopsis of why the chose LA only mentions a recreational walking area (for the record, the Augustus F Hawkins Natural Park appears to be a wonderful place to go for a stroll). However, Prevention has provided a welcome bit of press that has shed light on the underrated act of walking in the City of Angels. LA is certainly not a perfect place to walk, but loyalists like myself have discovered that it’s not the walking hellhole it’s made out to be, and at times walking can be an interesting way to see the city or even (gasp) get around. It’s nice that Prevention has recognized this too.

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