The first house that my wife and I bought was in a suburb immediately to the north of Albany, NY. It was a great 80-year-old house with a nice yard, and an easy drive to my work and to hers. But it was on a busy street, and with no sidewalks it was impossible to walk anywhere. When our daughter was almost 3, we moved into our current house in Albany. I sometimes joke that we moved for the sidewalks, but there’s a lot of truth to that. On the first morning we woke up in the new house, I clearly remember our daughter running out the door and down the block – something that she had never been able to do before. Being in a neighborhood with sidewalks and things to walk to – restaurants and bars, a library, post-office, bank, and supermarket within a few blocks – has made a big difference in our lives.
The contrast between these two locations is confirmed to some extent by Walk Score. Our old house was a lowly 23 while our current house gets a 68.