Follow us:

FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

August 27, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Where we walk to work: Would you believe Bellevue?

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

If you could walk to work, would you?

Compared with sitting in rush-hour traffic — which many of you endured Wednesday afternoon — a leisurely stroll to the office might sound pretty nice.

And yet, not a lot of us do it. Just look at the statistics: For every 35 American workers, just one commutes by foot. Most of us live too far from the workplace to make walking a practical option.

This is less true for the city of Seattle, where many people live in proximity to job centers. About 36,000 Seattleites — 10 percent of all workers — have a walking commute.

That isn’t too surprising, but this may be more unexpected: Some quintessentially suburban areas of Redmond and Bellevue have a higher percentage of people who walk to work than most places in Seattle.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Analysis of census tract data shows that in the areas surrounding the Microsoft campus — a mix of single-family homes and low-rise apartment complexes — about one out of six residents walks to work.

It’s not hard to figure out why. Unusual for a suburb, this area contains both a major employer and has good sidewalks.

The implication is clear: Give people the option of walk commuting, and a lot of them will.

And don’t be surprised if they have a smile on their face. Canadian researchers recently studied six modes of commuter transportation to determine which one makes people the happiest. Answer: walking.

Find out how many people walk to work in your neighborhood — explore the data using our interactive map of King County census tracts.

And if you’re interested in learning more about promoting walkable communities in Washington, visit Feet First, a Seattle-based walking advocacy group.

Related story: Extreme walking commuter puts feet first

Poll: Tell us about your commute

Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: commuting, walking

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►