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Subject: Boston folks: Please review this Google Map for walkability rss

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howl hollow howl
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Taking the fam to Boston this year, and one day involves a lot of pedestrian travel that I would like your feedback on. Here is the route (the paths aren't exact thanks to goofy Google drawing tools). The daughter regularly walks 10Ks, so distance is no concern. I'm mainly thinking about pedestrian friendliness (e.g., good sidewalks) and general safety during weekday daylight hours (say, as late as 8 PM).
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Josh
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Credentials: Lived in the Bean for ten years, and for most of that worked at the southwest tip of your path.

The short answer is that Boston is an eminently walkable American city, pretty much always and everywhere. This does come with the caveat that motorists and pedestrians are locked into mutual contempt and distrust, so it will seem aggressive if you are used to Canadian-style street ettiquite.

For your specific path, the part in Downtown (NW of the channel) will pose absolutely no problems. You may find that one side of the street has much better sidewalks than the other, but it will be comfortable and safe. It looks like you will go into the top bit of Chinatown, a bunch of office-y areas with older architecture, and the really nice part along the water.

I'm less familiar with the part in Southie (SE part of path). Traditionally it's an industrial area, but it's been built up a lot in the last few years. There is nothing wrong with it, but just due to the geography, and the fact that the T doesn't really penetrate into Southie, it's a neighborhood where you need a reason to go to go there. It will be safe, but have less charm than the rest of the route. The Barking Crab is worth a visit, and so is the ICA.
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col_w
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I was in Boston before the Big Dig had finished, and even then it was fine for walking in.

But:

Quote:
Round trip walk
7.5 km - about 21 mins


Don't think so, Google.
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Tom
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Perfectly walkable.

Part of your route can be traversed on the Boston Harborwalk.
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howl hollow howl
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JoshBot wrote:
The Barking Crab is worth a visit, and so is the ICA.

Yeah, we were looking at Barking Crab, No Name, and Yankee Lobster, and will likely go with the latter if only to extend the walk. ICA is a good tip, as we have a chunk of time to kill in the morning before we go whale watching.

TwirlingTF wrote:

Excellent!
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howl hollow howl
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Back from vacation. Thanks again for the tips. I can confirm that Boston was perfectly walkable, except for the fact that it's a real shark tank wrt driving and walking. Even the police actively condone jaywalking (e.g., at one intersection with a single blocked lane and a working crosswalk, an officer was waving walkers across whenever traffic got light). Saw multiple instances of blocked intersections, and almost got flattened by someone running a red light. In general, I couldn't stand the downtown area, although Beacon Hill and North End had their charms.
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