The 15 US cities where it's easiest to live without a car

Creative CommonsA street in Boston, Massachusetts.

To get around in most American cities, you need a car.

But some metros are making their streets more walkable and creating easier ways for residents to bike or take public transit instead of driving. For example, the Miami neighbourhood of Wynwood recently transformed itself into a walkable district – complete with cafes, art galleries, and restaurants – by adding car-free zones. Last year, Boston announced a plan to become the most walkable city in the US by 2030 by making sure every home is within a 10-minute walk of a subway station or bus stop.

Walk Score, a company that analyses car-free efforts in urban areas, recently released its annual ranking of walkable US cities. The list compares metros with populations that range from 200,000 to 10 million, and measures how easily residents can accomplish errands on foot, by bike, or using public transit.

While it’s still difficult to live in most American cities without a vehicle, Walk Score’s metric clarifies which places may be the least car-dependent.

The top 15 cities are below:

15. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis’ most walkable neighbourhoods, according to the Walk Score analysis, are Lyn Lake, Uptown, and Lowry Hill East

14. Baltimore, Maryland


Baltimore’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Mount Vernon, Downtown, and University of MD at Baltimore

13. Hialeah, Florida


Hialeah’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Trojan Park, Seminola City, and Palmetto I-75 Industrial Center

12. Long Beach, California

Long Beach’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Downtown,Saint Mary, and Franklin School

11. Oakland, California

Oakland’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Downtown,Koreatown-Northgate, and Temescal

10. Seattle, Washington

Seattle’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Downtown,Pioneer Square, and First Hill

9. Washington, DC


Washington, DC’s most walkable neighbourhoods:Dupont Circle, U-Street, and Downtown-Penn Quarter-Chinatown

8. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Near North Side, West Loop, and East Ukrainian Village

7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Philadelphia’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Center City West, Avenue of the Arts South, and Rittenhouse Square

6. Miami, Florida


Miami’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Downtown,Wynwood-Edgewater, and Little Havana

5. Newark, New Jersey

Newark’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Newark Central Business District, North Ironbound, and University Heights

4. Boston, Massachusetts

Wikipedia CommonsThe Boston Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Chinatown – Leather District, North End, and Bay Village

3. San Francisco, California

Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock

San Francisco’s most walkable neighbourhoods:Chinatown,Downtown-Union Square, and Lower Nob Hill

2. Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey City’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Historic Downtown, Journal Square, and McGinley Square

1. New York, New York


Unsurprisingly, New York is the most walkable and public-transit-friendly city in the US.

The New York metro area has miles of bike lanes and a robust mass transportation system, including subways, buses, bike shares, and rail lines like Metro-North and the Long Island Railroad.

Many residents of Manhattan and Brooklyn are less than a 15-minute walk from a bus or subway stop. The most walkable neighbourhoods are Union Square, Bowery, and NoLita, according to Walk Score.

For that reason, many New Yorkers go their entire lives without buying a car.

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