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Culpeper- It’s Good For You!

July 30, 2008

Ok, check this out: Heavy? Your neighborhood may be to blame. The gist of the article is that the older neighborhoods (pre-1950s) are more pedestrian-friendly, which encourages non-motorized means of getting around. It seems to makes perfect sense; after all, our pre-1920s neighborhood has the urban planner’s dream of sidewalks, narrow streets, bike lanes (such as they are), and grid-patterned layout. When I lived out west, I got to see both communities that were New Urbanist, and those that tried the New Urbanist veneer to attract buyers. What people seem to forget is that people don’t increase their walking just because you make a place pedestrian-friendly. You also need a destination worth the walk.

That’s where I hope Culpeper keeps heading in the right direction. Downtown has some great shops, and they’re not just for tourists and the rich. Add to that the Farmer’s Market, the concerts, and the much-awaited opening of the State Theater someday, and the sidewalks should be pretty busy. According to the article, that could be a great thing for everyone’s health!

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