Walking has economic value

Did you know that in the year 2000 the number of people walking to work in Cortland County was 1,383 or 6.2 percent?

A report, “The Economic Value of Walkability” describes “ways to evaluate the value of walking (the activity) and walkability (the quality of walking conditions, including safety, comfort and convenience). Walking and walkability provide a variety of benefits, including basic mobility, consumer cost savings, cost savings (reduced external costs), efficient land use, community livability, improved fitness and public health, economic development, and support for equity objectives. Current transportation planning practices tend to undervalue walking. More comprehensive analysis techniques, described in this paper, are likely to increase public support for walking and other nonmotorized modes of travel.”

Why do we undervalue walking? The report details several reasons:

1. It’s more difficult to measure
2. It’s considered a lower status activity
3. It’s so inexpensive
4. The benefits are ignored
5. It’s taken for granted

But what would you rather lose – your ability to drive or your ability to walk?

Jan

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