Some U.S. cities are naturally more walkable than others. The term walkable implies that the city or town is easy to get around and go places on foot as opposed to by car. Walkable cities are often planned that way when first built, with major hubs like downtown areas built with multiple places to eat, shop, and explore in close proximity to neighborhoods of homes and/or apartments.
When we think of the most walkable cities in the nation, we often think of New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. These are large cities where there are so many restaurants and businesses in a central area, that it’s often easier to walk places downtown than take a car. Finding parking spots in these cities can additionally be quite difficult. More space is dedicated to businesses, commercial areas, and homes than wide streets, parking lots, and highways.
Cities and downtown areas that are more walkable may not be extremely friendly for drivers, but they are friendly for pedestrians. They’re great for individuals and families who enjoy taking in the sights on foot, meeting up with family members and friends without having to drive a long distance, and getting some exercise at the same time.
When moving to a new city or visiting one, people often wonder how walkable a city is. Knowing if a city is walkable can be beneficial if you enjoy visiting businesses and restaurants on foot or simply wish to not depend on a motor vehicle all of the time.
Given all of this information, how walkable is Albuquerque? Albuquerque is the most populated city in New Mexico. It’s also the fourth-largest city in the Southwest. It boasts multiple large parks, recreation areas, sports arenas, and entertainment venues. While many areas of Albuquerque are indeed walkable, other areas are not quite as walkable as locations in other U.S. cities. Let’s look at some facts below:
Albuquerque Walkability Statistics
In 2011, Albuquerque scored 48 points out of a possible 100 points by a group called Walk Score which ranked the largest walkable cities in the United States. The city was ranked 28th out of the top 50 largest cities. The study considered a neighborhood’s proximity to amenities like grocery stores, banks, restaurants, coffee shops, and schools.
Since 2011, the city’s score seems to have dropped down to 43. The study determines this score to mean that “most errands require a car in Albuquerque.” Statistically, the city falls just south of the halfway mark, meaning it’s certainly not one of the most walkable cities in the U.S., but it does have neighborhood areas where residents are able to walk everywhere they need to easily.
The same study also ranked Albuquerque as having a transit score of 29 and a bike score of 61, each out of 100 points total. What this means is that public transportation exists but isn’t as comprehensive as it could be in all neighborhoods. Bikers have a bit more to look forward to in the city and will have a decent time getting where they need to go by bike.
As with many cities, some neighborhoods in Albuquerque are more friendly than others for pedestrians who wish to not depend on cars. This is true for many cities in the Southwest which were designed with more open space than many cities on the East Coast, for example. Cities that are built with open space in mind are often built with the expectation of a growing population and will allow more space for wider streets, more highways, large parking lots, and larger commercial spaces.
What Areas of Albuquerque Are Most Walkable?
Some of the neighborhoods in Albuquerque that are the most walkable include:
- Nob Hill
- University Heights
- Huning Highland Historic District
- Highland Business District
- Fair West
These neighborhoods all have downtown or historic areas, containing shopping areas, malls, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other attractions that are easy to get to on foot. In some of the more historic areas of Albuquerque, you can take trams from various attractions to the next, which makes them fantastic places for visitors. Along the foothills, visitors can also embark on some of the state’s best hiking trails.
Why is Walkability Important?
Families and individuals who are looking at a city’s walkability factor before deciding to move locations or visit are generally looking for ease of access and to enjoy the feeling of not having to be tethered to a car all of the time. For some, environmental concerns are a factor. For others, they may simply enjoy walking more than driving and the exercise and fresh air walking offers.
Safety is another concern. Cities and neighborhoods that are walkable tend to be more populated. This often means that they are safer for walking during daytime hours. While massive walkable cities do tend to attract their fair share of crime, these cities additionally employ more security measures like security cameras and on-duty security personnel to ensure everyone’s safety.
People also often feel safer walking in neighborhoods where walking from location to location is common. Pedestrian-friendly cities often seem friendlier and cozier. Businesses and homeowners often take extra steps to ensure their properties are kept up nicely and safe for visitors in neighborhoods that attract residents and visitors who travel by foot.
This isn’t always the case, however. If a business or homeowner in Albuquerque or elsewhere in New Mexico fails to keep their property—including walking areas around their property like walkways, sidewalks, and ramps—safe for visitors and an accident occurs due to the negligence of the property owner, you may have grounds for legal action. We call this area of law premises liability.
At Buckingham & Vega Law Firm, we work hard to ensure property owners are held accountable for injuries that occur that should have been prevented. If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property in New Mexico, we encourage you to get a hold of us as quickly as you can. We can help you move forward.