Do you live in a Walk Friendly Community?

Walk Friendly Communities make it safe and easy for pedestrians to get around cities on foot. Is your city on the list?

The free hugs didn't make Seattle a platinum Walk Friendly Community, but they sure didn't hurt.

Walkable cities keep cars off the road and make it safer and easier for pedestrians to get around. But walkable neighborhoods also have higher property values, and retail shops love the foot traffic.

Some cities in the U.S. understand the value of walkable streets.

Those cities were recognized by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center in their inaugural round of Walk Friendly Communities. Eleven cities received a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum rating based on their commitment to make the city more walkable and safe for pedestrians through programs, plans, and policies.

Is your city on the list?

Platinum:

Seattle, Wash.

Gold:

Ann Arbor, Mich.

Arlington, Va.

Hoboken, N.J.

Santa Barbara, Calif.

Silver:

Charlottesville, Va.

Decatur, Ga.

Bronze:

Austin, Texas

Charlotte, N.C.

Flagstaff, Ariz.

Wilsonville, Ore.

It's not a complete list of all the pedestrian-friendly communities in the U.S. -- cities have to apply -- but it's a way to honor those cities that are working to make walking a larger part of their community.

"The WFC designation recognizes communities that help set the bar in fostering and accommodating walking," said Carl Sundstrom, WFC program manager. "We were pleased with the response we received for the first round of this new program and are very excited to see communities use this program to further their pedestrian efforts."

Do you live in one of these cities? Do you agree with the distinction? How could your city improve its walkability?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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