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  • Writer's pictureNilda Medina

How to spot a walkable neighborhood

Strolling to a cafe for breakfast, walking around the corner to yoga—isn’t that the life? Before you buy or rent, here’s how to suss out whether a neighborhood you’re interested in will let you get out from behind the wheel. See what locals have to say. When it comes to picking a neighborhood, do a search for “What Locals Say.” It is a good way to find stats that show what percentage of locals say the following about their neighborhood:

  • It’s walkable to restaurants

  • It’s walkable to grocery stores

  • There are sidewalks

  • People would walk alone at night

  • Streets are well-lit

  • Car is needed

So, for example, in Boston’s very walkable Beacon Hill neighborhood, 93% of residents say there are sidewalks, 92% say it’s walkable to restaurants, and only 18% say a car is needed. Scope out the commute. A truly walkable neighborhood is one where you can get in and out of the neighborhood without a car. Studies show that the closer you live to transit networks (bus, train, bike share), the more likely you are to walk. Map the route to your workplace in public transit mode. How long is the walk to the bus or train? How long is the ride? You can also get useful commute intel from locals with another quick search. Millions of locals have been asked what their commute is like, so you’ll find quotes like this one from a resident of New York City’s Financial District: “Close to every train you could want to get anywhere in the city. My commute is super easy—10 minutes to SoHo by train [or a] 20-minute walk.” Check out local dining spots To find out whether you can easily step out for a bite to eat, take a peek a