Just how walkable is LA?

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Summer is here and the time for early evening strolls through the neighborhood has arrived. Fortunately, a report from Walk Score released earlier this year finds that the city’s walkability improved in 2016 and that LA is the nation’s 13th-most walkable city.

The city’s walk score of 66 in 2016 was a two point improvement over the year before. The score is based on a number of factors, including the accessibility of walking routes, how many shops and restaurants walkers are likely to pass by, and the amount of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.

Many of LA’s individual neighborhoods received very high marks this year. Downtown, Central Hollywood, and Koreatown, for instance, all scored above 90—higher than the 89 scored this year by first place city New York.

On the flip side, upscale neighborhoods like Pacific Palisades, Porter Ranch, and Bel Air are extremely car dependent and drag down the city’s overall walkability (Bel Air-Beverly Crest registered a walk score of just 14 points in 2016).

Overall, six Southern California cities made the top 50 list this year. The most walkable, according to the report, is Long Beach, which beat out Baltimore in the latest rankings for a place in the top 10. The coastal city ended up with a score of 69 in 2016, up from 66 a year earlier.

A scramble crosswalk at Hollywood and Highland
Scramble crosswalks, such at the one pictured at Hollywood and Highland, are safer for pedestrians.
LADOT

Downtown Long Beach has become particularly appealing for pedestrians, with a walk score of 92.

In a statement, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia says the city’s improved score is due to recent pedestrian-friendly projects undertaken by the city. These include new street lights, signs, and the addition of colorful crosswalks that are difficult for drivers to overlook.

But Southern California continues to lag behind the Bay Area. San Francisco was again ranked the second-most walkable city in the nation, with a score of 86. Oakland wasn’t too far behind, scoring 72 and coming in ninth on the list.

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