The Walkability Report takes an in-depth look at neighborhoods

Improving DC’s walking ability should go beyond infrastructure repairs to address police levels, environmental quality and other factors affecting how much people walk, according to new research.

Why it matters: The pandemic and the rise of remote work have made walkability even more important as Washingtonians spend more time in their own communities. “People want to get more out of their neighborhoods,” Urban Institute researcher Yonah Freemark told Axios.

Game Status: Washington has a walkability inequality — areas with large populations of people of color, people with physical disabilities, and low-income families face some of the biggest challenges when it comes to getting around.

Details: The Urban Institute Walkability Report trapped policing affecting a community’s comfort of walking; Proximity to places to walk such as schools, parks, bus stops and workplaces, environmental quality, infrastructure and safety.

  • Areas toward the center of the city, such as Chinatown and Shaw, struggle the most with environmental impacts on walking ability, including air quality, noise pollution, shade, and vegetation.
  • Communities east of the Anacostia River, including Congress Heights and Anacostia, are under more policing and have poor sidewalks and infrastructure, and poor access to resources.
  • Unsurprisingly, the city’s most affluent areas are best reached on foot.

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