Walk Score has a tool to generate heat maps showing how far you have to walk to reach things like a grocery store. Here’s DC’s grocery access map:


Image from Walk Score. Click for interactive version.



According to the Walk Score blog, 41% of DC residents are within a 5-minute walk of a food store, placing it 5th among US cities of half a million residents or more and just below Boston (45%). New York is tops, at 72%.

DC’s sustainability plan (which gets a special mention in the WalkScore post) calls for 75% of people to have a food store within a 5-minute walk by 2032.

Southern and southwestern cities rank the worst, with Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Tucson and Albuquerque all or at or below 7%. Tucson is an interesting case in that the city has done a lot to make it safer to walk, such as adding pedestrian signals to help people cross its wide streets, but everything is very spread out making many walks quite long.

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David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle.