Neighborhood 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.
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.
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