Streets Built for People [2022 Walkability Benefits in Cities]

With the growing popularity of walking as a means of transportation, some cities are better suited for walking. Read on to learn which U.S. cities are the most pedestrian-friendly.

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2022Fact Checked

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from S...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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UPDATED: Jul 9, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • Cities get a walkability score based on how many destinations are within walking distance of various residential addresses
  • Some of the best cities for walking are also the biggest, such as New York City, San Francisco, and Boston
  • Although a city might have a high level of walkability, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for pedestrians

With rising gas prices and increased awareness of a car’s effect on the environment, more Americans are looking at the walkability of their cities than ever before. While walking is a common way of getting around in Europe, most American cities are designed for driving.

With so many benefits of living in a walkable city, many metropolitan areas are trying to make it easier for residents to skip the car ride. Although there are some disadvantages to living in a city with several walkers — for example, car insurance tends to be higher due to pedestrian injuries — the benefits generally outweigh them.

Read on to learn about the most walkable cities in the U.S., then explore your options for how to buy auto insurance and how to find cheap insurance no matter where you live.

What are the most walkable U.S. cities.?

To determine a city’s walkability, Walk Score looks at thousands of addresses throughout the U.S. and lists how many destinations are within walking distance. Depending on the number of locations within walking distance, Walk Score gives each city a total score:

  • 90+. This city is a walker’s paradise, with no need for a car for daily errands.
  • 70-89. A city with this score is very walkable, and you can walk for most errands.
  • 50-69. These cities are somewhat walkable, with about half of daily errands within walking distance.
  • 25-49. This is a car-dependent city where most errands require transportation.
  • 0-24. The lowest score a city can receive, which means nearly all errands require a car.

Keeping this in mind, here are the top 20 cities in America for walkability as determined by Walk Score.

CityWalkability ScorePopulation
St. Louis, Missouri65.5319,000
Santa Ana, California66.3324,000
Portland, Oregon66.6583,000
Buffalo, New York67.5261,000
Los Angeles, California68.23.7 million
Hialeah, Florida68.7224,000
Arlington, Virginia69.2207,000
Minneapolis, Minnesota70.5382,000
Long Beach, California72.4462,000
Oakland, California73.8390,000
Seattle, Washington74608,000
Washington, D.C.75.9601,000
Chicago, Illinois77.42.6 million
Miami, Florida77.6399,000
Newark, New Jersey78.8277,000
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania78.81.5 million
Boston, Massachusetts82617,000
Jersey City, New Jersey86.8247,000
San Francisco, California87.4805,000
New York City, New York88.38.1 million
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Many cities on this list are actively improving sidewalk safety, increasing driver awareness of pedestrians, and creating more routes for walkers. Though driving is widespread among Americans, walking is becoming more popular.

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What are the least walkable cities in the U.S.?

While some cities are great for walking, others don’t do as well. Aside from being car-dependent, these cities are also dangerous for pedestrians.

CityWalkability ScorePopulation
Gilbert, Arizona28.8208,000
Greensboro, North Carolina28.8269,000
Durham, North Carolina28.4228,000
Nashville, Tennessee27.9601,000
Jacksonville, Florida26.3821,000
Montgomery, Alabama26.2205,000
Charlotte, North Carolina25.5731,000
Winston, North Carolina22.3229,000
Chesapeake, Virginia21222,000
Fayetteville, North Carolina20.4200,000
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There are many reasons a city can be dangerous for pedestrians. Some cities have sidewalks in disrepair, while others have crosswalks that pedestrians can’t safely use.

Safety of Pedestrians by State

When it comes to walkability, there’s a lot more to consider than if errands are within walking distance. To be truly walkable, pedestrians should feel safe on sidewalks and crosswalks.

Look at the graph below to understand how safe your state is for walking.

StatePopulationPedestrian DeathsPedestrian Death Rate
Alabama4.8 million1192.44
Arizona7 million2163.08
Arkansas3 million421.4
California39.5 million8582.17
Colorado5.6 million921.64
Connecticut3.5 million481.34
Florida20.9 million6543.12
Georgia10.4 million2532.43
Hawaii1.4 million140.98
Idaho1.7 million160.93
Illinois12.8 million1451.13
Indiana6.6 million1011.51
Iowa3.1 million230.73
Kansas2.9 million331.13
Kentucky4.4 million831.86
Louisiana4.6 million1112.37
Maine1.3 million201.5
Maryland6 million1141.88
Massachusetts6.8 million741.08
Michigan9.9 million1561.57
Minnesota5.5 million380.68
Mississippi2.9 million712.38
Missouri6.1 million961.57
Montana1 million141.33
Nebraska1.9 million201.04
Nevada2.9 million913.04
New Hampshire1.3 million110.82
New Jersey9 million1832.03
New Mexico2 million743.54
New York19.8 million2421.22
North Carolina10.2 million1981.93
North Dakota755,000 50.66
Ohio11.6 million1421.22
Oklahoma3.9 million781.98
Oregon4.1 million691.67
Pennsylvania12.8 million1471.15
Rhode Island1 million211.98
South Carolina5 million1543.07
South Dakota869,000101.15
Tennessee6.7 million1241.85
Texas28.3 million6072.14
Utah3.1 million421.35
Virginia8.4 million1111.31
Washington7.4 million1031.31
West Virginia1.8 million261.43
Wisconsin5.7 million560.97
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You might notice that some of the safest states don’t have the most walkable cities. For example, North Dakota is the safest state for pedestrians, while New York City is the best city for walking.

How does walkability affect insurance prices?

Several factors affect the price of your car insurance. While one of the most important is where you live, factors also include:

  • Age. Young, inexperienced drivers are more likely to cause accidents or engage in reckless behaviors, that’s why the average car insurance rates vary by age.
  • Car make and model. Some cars are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents. Others cost more to repair, increasing insurance rates.
  • Driver history. Your insurance will be much higher if you have speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, DUIs, or other traffic incidents. Some incidents might mean you need high-risk auto insurance.
  • Gender. Men are statistically more likely to cause an accident or engage in dangerous behavior than women. While men pay more, the gap closes with age.
  • Yearly mileage. The more you drive, the higher your chance of being involved in an incident. If you drive a limited number of miles, you may be eligible for a discount.

Companies use their own formulas to determine insurance rates, and other factors are often involved in the final price.

So, how does walkability affect the price of your insurance? While safe cities for walkers aren’t necessarily going to cause higher insurance prices, cities with more people on the street might.

For example, Miami is one of the best cities for walkers, but other cities in Florida are hazardous for pedestrians. Jacksonville, Daytona, and Tampa are some of the most dangerous in the U.S. for pedestrians due to increased numbers of collisions.

Areas with increased numbers of accidents have higher insurance prices. Companies carefully track accidents to determine rates — ZIP codes with more traffic incidents also pay higher insurance rates.

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Find the Best Car Insurance No Matter Which City You Live In

While walking has several benefits — fresh air, exercise, and a decreased carbon footprint — you’ll eventually need to hop in a car at some point. Whether you rarely drive your car or take it every day to work, the amount you drive will affect how much your insurance costs.

Now that you know the most walkable cities in America according to Walk Score, you can find the best prices on your insurance no matter where you live. Compare as many companies as possible to find the best price.

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