There are many things to think about when buying a home in Irvine. One aspect that isn’t always considered is a neighborhood’s walkability, which is an analysis of how friendly an area is to walking. Walkability is an important consideration because walking is good for your physical and mental health, your pocketbook, and the environment. Here are five things to keep in mind as you assess neighborhoods during your home search.
1. Desirable Destinations Nearby
There’s nothing wrong with walking around the block, but going nowhere can get boring. Walkability is more about walking as a part of going about your daily business. It is about walking to a specific destination. A 10 to 15-minute walk should get you to school, restaurants, the bakery, the library, and/or a corner market. Ideally, there will be other businesses as well, maybe even your place of employment.
There must be sidewalks, walking paths, and trails to get where you want to go. Walkability means nothing if you can’t safely get there, and having to walk in the road isn’t safe. The sidewalks should be in good condition and have curb ramps on each block because it makes walking with a baby stroller or pulling a wagon or grocery trolley much easier. Good sidewalks also make it easier for disabled people in wheelchairs or electric scooters to get around. The roads should be clearly marked with pedestrian crosswalks and signs and be well-lit. No one will feel safe walking down a dark, lonely sidewalk or walking path.
3. Pleasantness of the Neighborhood
You won’t want to go for a walk if it means you have to pass blocks of imposing warehouses, busy factories, and abandoned graffiti-scrawled buildings. People also don’t want to walk adjacent to busy highways or uncared-for empty lots. Walkable neighborhoods have a variety of homes and small businesses interspersed with small parks, gardens, well-cared-for landscaping, water fountains, outdoor sculptures, and benches to sit and rest or stop and chat with other residents. Outdoor tables and other seating areas outside of businesses also make walking more enjoyable. When people can congregate and break bread together, a sense of community develops. In turn, this leads to a safer neighborhood, with people looking out for one another.
Hilly areas can’t be razed just to make walking more enjoyable, but roadways and sidewalks can be laid out efficiently. Destination walking means people have places to go, things to do, and people to see. They don’t want to navigate meandering sidewalks that take twice as long to get somewhere as a straight path would. Look for neighborhoods built on an efficient grid.
5. Access to Public Transportation
Walking won’t always be an option for where you want to go. Inclement weather may also be an obstacle. A neighborhood that offers public transportation will get you where you need to be under every circumstance.
Whether you want to live in Woodbridge or Great Park, Irvine homes for sale are available in neighborhoods with great walkability potential. Contact the reliable and friendly agents at OC Residential to find the ideal property in the ideal neighborhood. Call 714-454-6304 today to schedule an appointment.