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A national walk to work day alternative

I just learned that the US has a “National Walk to Work Day.” And it happens to be today, Friday, April 7, 2023. It was started in 2004 by the federal government and the American Podiatric Medical Association — because, you know, walking is good for your feet — and the idea is that since so few Americans actually walk to work, we should encourage them to do it at least one day of the year. Back in 2019, the figure was that less than 3% of Americans do it on average.

While I’m sure that there are some good intentions here, I’m guessing that the impact of this national day is probably somewhere between zero and “I guess I’ll park in a farther spot at the office park today.” The reality is that a day like this exists because we have spent the last 75 years, or even longer, making it exceedingly difficult to navigate our cities without a car. So it is equal to, “let me speak out of the other side of my mouth for a day.”

But we also know that a real and meaningful solution is pretty simple to achieve (though clearly not easy). Build smaller streets and build more densely, especially next to transit. (Would you add anything to this?) So I think it’s time for a new kind of national day. Maybe it’s a day where every dense development proposal next to transit just gets automatically approved. It would be a national day for “this took too long, so here you go.”

I don’t know, this probably needs some work. I’m open to other ideas here.


  1. Michael Johnson

    An essential book to read is Christopher W. Wells’ “Car Country: an Environmental History”. It tells how, small step by small step – and then bigger steps, the USA (and, by extension, other places) became so car dependent.


  2. squarefootca

    Here is freebie because it took took long. Eloquent in its simplicity. Made me laugh out loud.


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