Authors

Samuel C. Gilvarg '15, Gettysburg College

Shane A. Kesnig ’15, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2014

Department

Environmental Studies

Abstract

Walkability is a measure of how easily pedestrians can reach a variety of destinations via walking. Greater walkability has been linked to several benefits, including improvements in human health, economic stimulus, and improved air quality. We surveyed 37 blocks in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to record the presence of 13 design factors such as street trees and pedestrian oriented amenities that have been shown to encourage walking. These results were then compared with the Walk Score from walkscore.com, a common measurement tool of walkability. Based on the surveys, we calculated a design quality score (DQI) for each block. There was no correlation between DQI and Walk Score. The highest scores for aesthetics were recorded near Gettysburg College, the highest scores for ease of use were recorded around the traffic circle at the center of town, and the highest scores for safety were recorded near the traffic circle and the College. We believe that this discrepancy can be attributed to the focus of walkscore.com on the proximity of a location to various destination while our DQI score considered aesthetics, ease of use, and safety. Based on the results of this study, we recommend that the borough of Gettysburg invest in alternatives to automobile transport such as bicycle oriented amenities in order to increase walkability.

Comments

Environmental Studies Thesis