Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Metro Vancouver’s new draft map shows how walkable your neighbourhood is

Walkability is critically important for creating happy and healthy communities. Walkable community are also required to be able to effectively support a diversity of transportation options such as transit, cycling, and car sharing.

Metro Vancouver’s regional growth plan is centred around creating walkable nodes that are connected by high-quality public transit. Langley City is one of those nodes.

Metro Vancouver has been working on the Walkability Surface Project, and recently released a draft map of the most walkable and least walkable areas in Metro Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Mission. The lightest colour gray are areas that are not walkable. This is OK because these are rural, agricultural, and protected areas. The second lightest gray areas are the unwalkable urban areas. The darker shades of gray areas are what I would consider walkable places.

Metro Vancouver walkability index at census tract level. Q1 and Q2 have a low walkability index. Select map to enlarge.

Langley City, north of the Nicomekl, is considered walkable while areas south of the river are not. This is not surprising as some areas don’t even have sidewalks. Langley City council has started investing in closing the sidewalk gap in recent years.

This map provides a good overview of how our region has been doing with creating walkable nodes, and where we need to improve. The Walkability Surface Project will be refining the data further, and it is anticipated that a final walkability index will be released later this fall.

The walkability index for an area is derived from a combination of datapoints such as net residential density, land use mix, retail floor space ratio, intersection density, and sidewalk presence and completeness.

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