Walkability: A Weighty Topic?

Walkability: A Weighty Topic?

OK, we strive for balance at the FLOG, so now that we’ve posted an article on how walkability increases home values in the area (see below), we must search for one on why walkability is a bad idea. Coincidentally, the always-perspicacious Jen Beasley at the Gazette has offered us just that point. Today’s Gazette includes an article on Kensington, in which a new resident shows us the downside to walkability:

When she moved to Kensington, Alice Kessler thought she would lose weight from walking to the train station, grocery store and shops.

“The problem is, you can walk to Continental Pizza, you can walk to Baskin Robbins, you can walk to Dunkin Donuts, you can walk to the Tea Room, you can walk to Hong Kong restaurant,” said Kessler, who has lived in the Fawcett Street Apartments for six years.

For better or for worse, that walking convenience is something county planners are trying to capitalize on in the Kensington Sector Plan, encouraging more multi-family housing units, like apartments and townhomes, to be built near the town center and MARC train station. Residents who already live in Kensington’s apartment communities — sometimes overlooked in a town known for its Victorian single family homes — say it’s a lifestyle they already enjoy, but don’t necessarily want expanded.

(emphasis added, and pun surely intended.) 

So, there you have it. Walkability does not cure all ills. It may even lead to new problems: when your choices expand, perhaps your waistline does as well?

The whole article can be found at:

http://www.gazette.net/stories/08262009/bethnew210344_32534.shtml

Barnaby Zall

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