Long Beach Named Southern California’s Most Walkable City

DTLB hit a new milestone: it has a Walk Score of 92 and, in turn, has made Long Beach the most walkable city in Southern California and one of the top 10 most walkable cities in the nation.

Walk Score is an organization whose sole mission is to supply housing information while increasing walkability across the nation. With a “walker’s paradise” score, DTLB easily ousts popular nearby cities like Santa Monica (78) while coming in close to huge downtowns like DTLA (93).

“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,” stated Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We intend to continue making Long Beach a great place to walk and to live, work and visit.”

There’s more to walking than it seems—and it is always hard to understand the power of walking because we are continually inundated with speed—drive here, speed here, get from Point A to Point B as quick as possible—and we’ve continually touted that it’s important to examine speed (or what philosopher Paul Virilio called “dromology,” the study of speed: “[A]cceleration has been the prime cause of the proliferation of major accidents”). We, as humans, have always felt the need to do what we do faster—beyond stronger, beyond smarter, beyond more efficient: just faster.

What this has done, as noted by our former editor Brian Addison, is that we’ve become removed the world is from human scale. Transferring public real estate away from the car and over to a bike or a skater or a human allows us to recognize something we’re losing: the human as a simple tool; that we, in and of ourselves, are tools of power.

This is why walkability is important. It not only enables people to explore their neighborhoods with the ability to actually see it, it stirs economy and increases safety.

And frankly put, it’s DTLB that is leading the way.

“A renaissance has been happening in Downtown Long Beach, which now has a Walk Score of 92,” stated Michelle Zabukovec of Redfin, the organization which owns Walk Score. “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.”

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.