"Today, the most valuable real estate lies in walkable urban locations."
- Now Coveted: A Walkable, Convenient Place, New York Times
If you consider the topography of Arlington, walkability is at the feet of many of its residents. Much of the Town's commerce, restaurants and shops, including the High School and Middle School, Library, Post Office and Town Hall, reside on Massachusetts. Ave. which runs the length of the town. Residential communities flank it on either side - putting a good percentage of the population not more than a ½ mile from these and other amenities.
Add the Minuteman Bikeway to the mix and you have a walkable, bikeable, likeable place.
'Walkability' is becoming as important as other sought-after home features such the open floor plan and master bath. The ability to walk to a local store or coffee shop adds value to your home just as good schools, neighborhood parks and public transportation do.
And not only is walkability good for the value of your home, it's good for all sorts of other reasons. For example:
· Health: The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood.
· Environment: 82% of CO2 emissions are from burning fossil fuels.
· Finances: Cars are the second largest household expense in the U.S.
· Home Value: One point of Walk Score is worth up to $3,000 of value for your property.
· Communities: For every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%.6.
*Data from Walkscore.com
I think the value of a walkable neighborhood is summed up best here:
"... where every eight-year-old can walk to a library, every eighty-year-old can walk to a park bench, and every twenty-one-year-old can walk home from a bar. (And where every eighty-year-old can walk home from a bar, too.)" - Walkscore.com
Putting walkability on the list of your dream home must-have's is a step in the right direction.