walkability is “a measure of how easy it is to walk around in the area easily
and safely” (MacMillan Dictionary, 2009). The benefits of neighborhood
walkability were “to reduce harmful car pollution that help the environment, engage
in conversations with neighbors in order to build a strong social network that
help the community and increase physical activity” (Importance of Walkability,
2014). While I went out for a walk today and I had to observe and take notes on
the conditions of walkability checklist such as the sidewalk, amenitities,
crosswalks, and places close to my neighborhood as well as the speed limit
based on my observations.
The Regency at Belhaven subdivision is located
in Peachtree Corners, GA (Belhaven Homeowners Association, 2018). “It was built
in the mid 1990s and consist neighborhood of 260 homes” (Belhaven Homeowners Association,
2018). According to the data shown at www.Walkscore.com, Regency at Belhaven
located in Peachtree Corners has a “walk score” of 7 out 100 (Walk Score, 2018).
“This location is a car-dependent neighborhood so almost all errands require a
car” (Walk Score, 2018). I agree with the score because in order to go to
retail stores, the city center and parks, a car is needed (Walk Score, 2018).
When I started walking out of the
subdivision, I observed that the speed limit was 40 mph in Medlock Bridge Road
which was consisted of a two-lane road with four intersections. There were also
crosswalks and traffic lights which gave access to major highways and connect
to the neighboring cities such as Duluth, Lawrenceville, Norcross, and Johns Creek.
There were no benches and bike lanes, but there were safe sidewalks, along with
street lights with wide space for walking and also access to public transit
such as buses which was mainly the Gwinnett County Transit (Belhaven Homeowners
Association, 2018). The sidewalks were properly marked. There was a crosswalk
making safe cross from one side of the street to another. I walked to Norcross
High School, which took me 23 minutes. When I observed the crosswalk, it was
much easier to cross streets. When I came back inside the subdivision, I also
observed that there was a public school bus stop because students get off the
bus and walk straight home. One of the major roads was Peachtree Industrial
Boulevard that has heavy traffic during rush hour.
Walkscore and Neighborhood Compare and
Regency at Belhaven has a very low ranking walkscore because it took me
20-30 minutes to walk to these following locations such as the neighboring high
school, the coffee shops, and gas stations. However, some places to run errands
are farther from my neighborhood such as going to retail stores including Target,
the public library require a car. Even though, this neighborhood was a low walkability,
it has “a close driving distance to shopping malls, historic sites including Downtown
Norcross as well as parks” (Belhaven Homeowners Association, 2018). This is a family
oriented neighborhood which is very clean, safe, and has good public schools (Belhaven
Homeowners Association, 2018).
In conclusion, the city in
Gwinnett County called Peachtree Corners has a very low walkability score and
requires cars to run errands to grocery stores and indoor malls. Walking was a
very essential way to stay physically fit especially in neighborhoods. The
school, coffee shops, nearby fast food restaurants, gas stations, and
convenience stores are close to my neighborhood, which was mostly arrived at by
walking as opposed to places farther from my house, which require a car.
WORKS CITED PAGE:
Score (2018). List of Cities in Georgia
on Walk Score. https://www.walkscore.com/GA
“Walkability – Definition and
Synonyms.” Walkability (Noun) American English Definition and Synonyms | Macmillan
Belhaven. A Residential Community in Norcross, Georgia. N.p., 2018. Web. 31 Jan. 2018. http://www.belhavenhoa.com/info.php?pnum=3.
Do you Walk?: Why
Walkability is Important in Urban Areas, 29 Jul 2014. Web.
31 Jan. 2018, www.rivercitycompany.com/in-the-news/do-you-walk-why-walkability-is-important-in-urban-areas.