Walk Score is 71 out of 100 (71%). “Most errands can be accomplished on foot.”
So what really is “walkability”? Does one walk to work, to school? Does one walk to a park, or walk to buy groceries? Is the “errand” a toy store, a hardware store, or a Wal-Mart or Walgreen’s? Is it more important to have a bank, or a car dealership, right near by; or maybe a golf course, or a museum, or a 200 year old church?
How far is it to the destination to make it walkable? More importantly, what is the quality of the environment through which one walks?
The Huning Castle Neighborhood is probably one of the most walkable neighborhoods in America in terms of quality of the environment. The neighborhood is a destination for walkers, for people who walk for exercise a mile or more from downtown offices, for people who walk their dogs, for people who walk with their friends or family to restore their energy or to find an environment of greater peace, diversity and beauty.
You can walk to the zoo from the neighborhood (1/2 mile away), you can walk through the zoo, you can see trees, great areas of grass, animals. To see the animals costs money. To see the trees and wide boulevards and grass lawns of the Huning Castle neighborhood is free, and it’s even free to hear the zoo lions when they roar.
Very few use the sidewalks when they walk in Huning Castle. They use the streets. Few cars are ever parked on the streets of the neighborhood, except by guests and for parties. Traffic is light. No through trucks are allowed. Fed-Ex trucks and UPS trucks are fairly common, the trucks employed by the “movies” (like Breaking Bad) are the biggest trucks one generally sees, and they are not so common. What is common in the neighborhood are garages. Yes, people do use their garages for their cars and not their storage.
One can usually walk a mile in 20 minutes. It’s a ten minute walk from one side of the neighborhood to the other. Within the neighborhood there are three municipal parks, two long landscaped median strips, incredible architecture and architectural diversity, historic buildings, historic sites and dwellings, a Little Theatre, a Country Club and golf course, and a lot of people who find it easy to just say “Hi”.
On the north side of the neighborhood is Central Avenue (famous historic Route 66) and the new “restaurant row”. On the south side is Tingley Beach, a huge landscaped area of ponds and walkways and even a small scale tourist train that follows the Bosque which follows the river, the Rio Grande.
Because of the ancient bend in the river the migrating cranes regroup their groups over the neighborhood for a month or more, every spring and every fall; the Canadian snow geese generally just fly straight through over the neighborhood. Either way, it’s very special.
So, is it all just too good to be true. Visit the neighborhood. Walk the streets. View the houses. Get your real estate agent to park their car and walk with you. Maybe they too will find that some neighborhoods really are different, that it really is not just “square feet”, that it really is “Location, location, and location“, with attention always focused on design, design and design.
For gentle relief to life’s burdens, try walking here, in these shoes.
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