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Like to know how you can make the place where you live safer, friendlier, cleaner, healthier, and—above all—more livable?

It's about a lot more than just getting from Point A to
Point B.

In today's car-centric culture, it's sometimes easy to forget that there are other forms of transportation. A century ago, people simply lived either indoors or outdoors. Today we've branched out. We bury ourselves in television and online. We've made our cars so livable that many of us do quite literally live in our cars, listening to books and music, talking on the phone, eating, checking our email. In fact some of us spend more waking hours in the car every day than we do with our families.

So why walk?
Walking and bicycling are the two safest, cleanest, and most desirable forms of transportation.

Not only is walking is a great means of locomotion and exercise, it's a way of socializing and also personal meditation. During times of emotional turmoil, walking is an activity to which people naturally turn. Walking is our most basic movement, the formative development in a child's growth. It is the most natural way to relax and unwind.

Philosophers throughout the centuries have recommended walking for better thinking. Laufenden thoughts, Nietzche said, are thoughts that never stay in one place, and are the only thoughts with any real value. If we have no place to walk, is our thinking static?

"We may be driving, literally driving ourselves crazy by not attending to the fundamental human need for walking," writes psychologist James Hillman.

Walking is freeing and unbelievably satisfying. What's more, it can save your life.

A place for pedestrians
As downtown centers all but disappear, making way for new strip malls and out-of-the-way shopping centers, it's important to remember that suburban sprawl and ghost towns aren't inevitable. You can do something to change the trend.

And with good reason.

Walkable communities are both interactive and attractive. In neighborhoods designed for pedestrians, there's a strong sense of community. More green space and improved aesthetics enhance the pedestrian experience.

People walk to shops and restaurants, meeting one another, getting to know their neighbors. With more people out and about on the streets and sidewalks, crime rates are greatly reduced. There's less traffic congestion and pollution.

And although "having to walk more" may sound inconvenient, it's actually quite the opposite. With shopping and businesses more centralized, it may not be necessary to drive across town to do errands. And more business at the corner mom and pop stores means livelier, healthier local economies.
Even if you rarely walk, the presence of a walkable community will greatly enrich your life.

next page:  Americans are walking contradictions.

health and fitness
Walk for your life--whether you're 8 or 88, discover how walking can enrich your physical and mental health.

design and engineering
Dig into walking design elements and issues. Engineer solutions and strategies towards better walkability for everyone.

Feature: Coming soon...Designing for Changing Demographics

Feature: Designing for the Visually Impaired

rails and trails
Convert an old rail or canal towpath into a new pedestrian trail.

Feature: Coming soon...Bill Chipman Palouse Trail

Find out where public transit is thriving and why; plan to successfully combine walking and public transportation in your community

Living Longer, Walking Stronger: The Design Needs of Senior Pedestrians

Ina Evans demurs when asked to reveal her age, saying vaguely that it's "over 70." She has lived long enough to have had a successful magazine career in New York and to be the grandmother of two teenagers in Chapel Hill, N.C. where she now makes her home. Mrs. Evans remembers a time when Seventeen magazine wouldn't utter the word "s-e-x" in its pages- during the 1940s and 50s when she was a staffer there. She also remembers a time when walking across the street to the grocery store didn't entail risking her life.
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community problems and solutions
Determine how walkable your community is, envision how walkable it can be-and find workable solutions.

Feature: Coming soon...America's Most Walkable Cities

pedestrian crashes
From the crucial factors to accident prevention to crash stats.

outreach and promotion
Initiate change and create awareness about the public health and transportation benefits of walking.

education and enforcement
Make an issue out of pedestrian safety through community awareness, and programs targeting youth and older adults. Enforce rules of the road for pedestrians and motorists.

policy and planning
Is Walking a Part of Your City's Plan? Learn where policy is working, what makes a good pedestrian plan, and where to get funding. Realize the ways that walking neighborhoods build better neighborhoods.

Feature: CAR CULTURE: How America got hooked by little bugs and monster trucks--and everything in between-- and why it's time to park our automobile obsession.

Feature: Coming soon...Suburban Sprawl

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