Imagine strolling to your favorite cafe for breakfast, walking to your vet, or meandering down the street to a beautiful park. Isn’t that the good life? Before you buy or rent, here’s how to figure out whether or not your new neighborhood will get you out from behind the wheel and get your feet on the pavement.
Consider the Commute
A truly walkable neighborhood is one where you can get in and out of your neighborhood without a car. Studies show that if you live closer to transit networks (bus, train, or bike share), the more likely you are to walk.
Local Dining Spots
To find out if you can truly step out for a bite to eat, take a look and see how far your new home is from local dining spots. That’ll give you an idea how many restaurants are within walking distance. Keep in mind, the closer the restaurants, the more likely you’ll see more neighbors out and about as well.
Virtually Walk Your Neighborhood
Before you decide to walk around your chosen neighborhood, use Google Street View to explore it virtually. Take a spin through the neighborhood to see how close you are to various amenities like pools, playgrounds, parks, libraries, or other places of interest.
Explore at Different Times of Day
Online research is great for narrowing down an area in which to live, but it’s not going to show you what life is like in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Stop by on evenings and weekends, and also during the week. See whether the cafes and shops you’d like to walk to will be open and active during times you’d use them, and that the routes you’d take are safe and accessible at all times.
Remember to look for these items when assessing the walkability of your new neighborhood:
Wide, accessible sidewalks
Shade – especially important when it’s hot outside!
Street furniture – is there a place for you to sit and rest, like a bench? If so, that means the city has taken extra care to provide such amenities and are committed to encouraging residents to walk.
Crosswalks and pedestrian signals
Daniel Island has a high walkability score. According to Walkscore.com, Daniel Island is the 27th most walkable neighborhood in Charleston. With dedicated walking and biking trails and easy accessibility, you’ll often see your neighbors walking, biking, or taking their golf carts to the grocery store, neighborhood pools, post office and restaurants.