Spring in the Northeast should get us excited about spending more time outdoors. A simple stroll can do wonders for your head and your health. But any walk can come with risks if drivers and walkers aren't mindful of their surroundings. While not all neighborhoods may be condusive to the leisurely stroll or fitness challenge, there are some things you may be able to do to change the walkability in your area.
Why is this neighborhood walkability important?
Other than the obvious safety reasons, did you know that walkability in your neighborhood boosts your real estate value?
According to a study from CEOs for Cities,
'Having shops and gathering spots like schools and restaurants located within a quarter-mile to one-mile from the homes in your neighborhood can add from $4,000 to $34,000 to home values..."
Here's what you can do to boost your current communities' walkability:
Landscape to improve curb appeal and clear the sidewalk in front of your house.
Clean up your community. Pick up trash and litter as you walk.
Be courteous. Encourage community kindness to other drivers and pedestrians when you drive.
Set an example. Get out and walk.
Support local businesses. If they flourish, that will attract other businesses to set up shop nearby.
Speak up. Get your neighbors together and talk to local officials. (Find your local officials.)
Attend planning meetings. Address your concerns and ask your town to build new sidewalks and/or repair existing sidewalks.
Start a petition in your neighborhood. Go door-to-door or start an online petition. (Here are some tips on writing a compelling petition.)
While you may not be able to single-handedly change your neighborhood, there is a lot you can do to raise awareness about improving it. Start small. Think big.
To learn more about building and boosting walkable communities here in New Jersey, visit NJ.gov.