In a city surrounded by multiple major freeways and a population of more than 500,000, traffic is inevitable. Yet, just one mode of transportation can keep one off the busy, congested streets: Walking.
Redfin—a residential real estate company that conducts “Walk Score”—just named Long Beach the 10th most walkable city in the United States, making it the only Southern California city to break the Top 10 this year.
“Recognizing Long Beach as the most walkable city in Southern California, and one of the most walkable in the entire country, is a testament to the hard work we’ve been doing to improve and expand pedestrian infrastructure and support safe and convenient travel for everyone,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “We intend to continue making Long Beach a great place to walk and to live, work and visit.”
Long Beach has a Walk Score of 69.0, an improvement from last year’s 65.8.
Walk Score is calculated by using a Street Smart Walk Score algorithm that incorporates walking routes, pedestrian friendliness, number of amenities (restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc.), distance to those amenities and population and boundary data, according to a city release.
“A renaissance has been happening in Downtown Long Beach, which now has a Walk Score of 92,” said Redfin agent, Michelle Zabukovec, in a statement. “In addition to some brand new buildings, developers are rehabilitating structures that were already in place. The city has even created an incentive program for rehabilitation projects, and has also focused on improving walkability by adding more pedestrian lighting to create safer sidewalks. One example of this is the Pine Avenue Improvement Project. And of course everyone loves First Fridays in Bixby Knolls as well as 2nd Street in Belmont Shore.”
Walkability areas allow residents and tourists to navigate the city car-free, promoting a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle, as well as saving money on parking. In the future, Long Beach is expected to increase walkability and other "livability" initiatives, including "bikeability" and "swimability," officials stated.
More than 10 million locations were analyzed by Walk Score, computing more than 2 billion walking routes for 2,500 U.S. cities.
Top 10 most walkable cities, according to Redfin, are:
- New York, NY
- San Francisco, CA
- Boston, MA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Miami, FL
- Chicago, IL
- Washington D.C.
- Seattle, WA
- Oakland, CA
- Long Beach, CA