Another reason a viable trail and sidewalk system is INFRASTRUCTURE, and not merely "parks and recreation."
Today's home buyers aren't just looking for good schools and low crime rates when they evaluate a neighborhood, many brokers say. They're paying much more attention to what they can walk to.
"Everyone wants to know now how close they are to stores," says Linda Duggan, an owner of The Duggan Group real-estate agency. She recently had clients who, given a choice between a house in Danville, Calif., and another that was bigger, newer, $300,000 cheaper—and 20 minutes farther from town—chose the first one. Earlier this year Scott Newman, of Newman Realty in Chicago, started highlighting how close his listings are to amenities. The number of amenities in walking distance can vary sharply from block to block, he adds.
"For a lot of Americans, the whole problem of traffic congestion and having to drive everywhere to do almost anything has made other choices more attractive," says Kaid Benfield, director of the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council's Smart Growth Program. Urban planners say it's also a matter of demographics: Baby boomers are coming of empty-nest retirement age, and at the same time their children are buying their first homes, and neither group wants large lots in remote places where little is going on. Fear about future oil prices is also increasing the attractiveness of walkable neighborhoods.
Read the rest at: A Walker's Guide to Home Buying - WSJ.com