Here’s a shocker – I tend to walk more in walkable places. We all do. A recent visit to Seattle I encountered the following: a city core with restaurants, museums, art galleries and safe places to walk. We walked. A lot. And really didn’t even think about it. Later that evening, we strolled past the very modern home of one of the Sub Pop dudes (no, really), through alleys, up and down a hill (again, Seattle) and ended up at a cool brewery, Rooftop Brewing. That capped of a great day of strolling with a delicious (almost IPA-like) pale ale, in a cozy, nicely designed space and heated outdoor area. The brewery itself isn’t on what one would call a walkable street. It’s busy and leads to the nearby Ballard Bridge (they’re smart – they have a sandwich sign that invites motorists stuck in line for the bridge to stop in and grab a beer. There’s also a sign on a nearby bike trail.)
The 24 hours in Seattle we walked around downtown, Seattle Center, and the neighborhood we stayed in. The act of walking wasn’t intentional – you just walked to get to where you were going without really thinking about it. And, since I have a Fitbit now, the steps taken (without really thinking about it, e.g. “I must walk to get my daily steps in so Fitbit doesn’t judge me”) just kind of happened without thinking about it. That’s good design and probably a lot of local city code in action.