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D.C. Gets Gold Rating For Walkability

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The D.C. area has been rated one of the most walkable cities in the United States.
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The D.C. area has been rated one of the most walkable cities in the United States.

The District now has the distinction of being one of the most walkable cities in America, and the city's Department of Transportation says it's just beginning to hit its stride, setting an ambitious goal for the future.

With a gold rating from the Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center, Washington is behind only Seattle in walkability. DDOT's plan is let the city grow, without gridlock, by finding new ways get people out of their cars.

"For a city to grow and thrive you cannot add really very many more cars to the road," says George Branyan, D.C.'s fulltime pedestrian coordinator. "That's just the bottom line. Driving alone to work is going to simply gridlock the system, so you're going to have to use other modes, and walking is the most egalitarian mode there is."

Branyan's boss, Mayor Vince Gray has set an ambitious goal: by 2032, he wants 75 percent of all trips starting in the District to be walking, biking or using transit. And the good news for drivers, according to DDOT, is that many of the improvements that make the city more walkable... will also help keep traffic flowing.

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