This honor would have to get better to qualify as “dubious.”

Apparently we’ve qualified as #52 in Prevention magazine’s list of 100 Best Walking Cities. I can only assume this ranking is a result of the pure chance of when they pulled our name out of the hat they put all these names in given that they otherwise seem to bear little resemblance to reality.

My home town of Miami is on the list at 79? Try 379. Or maybe “Number of cities in the US minus seven.” Maybe Miami Beach could qualify, but Miami is one of the most pedestrian-unfriendly towns in the country. But hey, maybe Prevention is among the 80% of the nation that can’t tell the difference between the two.

Or so I thought till I checked the criteria as listed in the apparent parent article of Top 10 Walking cities.

To qualify, a city must be among the country’s 100 most populous. It must also have a high percentage of people who regularly walk–for fitness and health, or to get to and from work.

So, the list is indeed as pointless as I thought, but for different reasons. It’s not really a listing of the top 100 cities, it’s a ranking of the 100 highest-populated cities. Further screwing up the deal is the fact that is apparently views all reasons for walking as equal. How meaningful is this list if it mixes in people who are walking with exercise with people who are walking because they can afford no other mode of transport?

It’s a shame they didn’t match this with a ranking of how pedestrian-friendly these cities are. That would have been interesting.

5 Comments so far

  1. Chris (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

    That list is effed up. I mean, LA ranked higher than we did!! Do you know ANYONE who walks to work (or to restaurants or to the neighbor’s house, etc.) in LA?

    I would guess that DC should be in the top 10 for walking/walkable cities.

  2. Jenn L (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

    Great, now I have that song stuck in my head:

    “Walking in LA…
    Walking in LA?
    Only a Nobody walks in LA!”

  3. Carlos (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 2:54 pm

    I have to agree with you. Most of Miami doesn’t even have sidewalks! Not to mention that it is virtually impossible to walk to work. The very first day I got to Miami in June 2000 I decided to walk from my hotel room to the office just 4 blocks away. The minute I stepped outside I was sweating so much I had to get back inside and call a taxi (the driver was understandably upset with me). Also, people drive like crazy down there.

  4. Stacey (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

    My home town/area, Detroit, ranked better than DC. That’s so obnoxious.

  5. Tom Mills (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

    Cleveland ranked higher than DC???? EVERYONE drives in Cleveland and besides, for at least half the year, it’s too damn cold to walk anywhere. Of course, they DO have the Cleveland Metroparks system, though….

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