A walkable community is one where people of all abilities are able to safely navigate their environment as pedestrians. This does not mean that people have to walk. If the environment is safe for walkers, than it will be safe for people using all forms of transport; including wheel chairs, bicycles, skates, strollers, busses, boats, trains, and automobiles. At some point in our journey we are all pedestrians. We may drive, bus or cycle to the market, but not into the market.
The traditional grid layout of the streets in Troy developed at a time in history when non-motorized transportation was the norm. However, with the boom of automobiles, developing a transportation system primarily for motorized vehicular traffic has failed to meet the travel needs and preferences of large segments of the country’s population.
Recent trends show more people are opting to walk or find alternative transportation methods instead of driving.
“Since the late 90’s the share of automobile miles driven by Americans in their twenties has dropped from 21% to 14%. The number of 19 year olds opting out of earning driver’s licenses has increased from 8% to 23% since the late seventies. This trend began well before the 2008 recession and it’s subsequent fuel cost spikes.” – Jeff Speck “Walkable City”