Southern California is synonymous with traffic, freeways, and is often seen as the epitome of car-oriented culture. Long Beach, however, is making strategic investments and launching a tangible cultural revolution that promotes walking. As a result, Long Beach has been named the 10th most walkable city in the United States, and is the only Southern California city to make the Top 10 this year.
“Recognizing Long Beach as the most walkable city in Southern California, and one of the most walkable in the entire country, is a testament to the hard work we’ve been doing to improve and expand pedestrian infrastructure and support safe and convenient travel for everyone,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We intend to continue making Long Beach a great place to walk and to live, work and visit.”
Long Beach is joined by nine other cities. In order, from first to ninth place, they are New York; San Francisco; Boston; Philadelphia; Miami; Chicago; Washington, DC; Seattle; and Oakland. All of these cities saw an increase in their respective Walk Score ratings, showing that cities across the nation are becoming more walkable. In previous scoring, Long Beach had a Walk Score of 65.8; it has moved up to 69.0.
“A renaissance has been happening in Downtown Long Beach, which now has a Walk Score of 92,” said Redfin agent Michelle Zabukovec. “In addition to some brand new buildings, developers are rehabilitating structures that were already in place. The city has even created an incentive program for rehabilitation projects, and has also focused on improving walkability by adding more pedestrian lighting to create safer sidewalks. One example of this is the Pine Avenue Improvement Project. And of course everyone loves First Fridays in Bixby Knolls as well as 2nd Street in Belmont Shore.”
In the future, Long Beach looks forward to increasing walkability citywide, so all residents can better experience the convenience and increased quality of life associated with walkable areas. Walkable areas allow residents and visitors to move through the city free from their cars, which is good for the environment, saves money on parking, and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Long Beach also continues to promote its overall Livability initiatives, which include Bikability and Swimability as well as Walkability.
About Walk Score
To calculate the rankings, Walk Score analyzed more than 10 million locations and computed more than 2 billion walking routes for 2,500 U.S. cities. Walk Score ranking uses the Street Smart Walk Score algorithm that incorporates walking routes, the number of nearby amenities (e.g. restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores), respective distance to those amenities, pedestrian friendliness, population and neighborhood boundary data.
Redfin, the company that conducts Walk Score, is a residential real estate company that provides web-based real estate database and brokerage services. The firm was founded in 2004, and is based in Seattle, Washington. For Redfin, the goal of Walk Score is to help people find the right home, not just any home, and what often makes a home “right” is its location. Walkability is about convenience, quality of life and everything outside the four walls of a house. When residents live near the people and places they enjoy most, they can spend less time and money on transit and more time doing what they love.