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Every year, unfounded urban legends and mythical hype get caregivers all worked up about trick-or-treating. While you’re not going to find razors or fentanyl in your kids’ candy haul, there are some reasonable concerns you may have leading up to the traditional neighborhood jaunt. Let’s look at the most walkable U.S. cities, as well as the ones that are considered “safest” for trick-or-treating this year.
Most “walkable” cities in the U.S.
To dig in on walkability, we’ll use Walk Score, which ranks over 2,800 cities (and 10,000) neighborhoods by analyzing hundreds of walking routes to nearby amenities and awarding points to cities based on distance to each. Its most recent ranking says these are the top 10 most walkable cities in the country:San Francisco (with Chinatown, Tenderloin, and Pork Gulch as the top neighborhoods)New York (try Bowery, NoLita, or Little Italy)Boston (check out Beacon Hill, Chinatown, or North End)Chicago (head to East Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, or Near North Side)Washington, D.C. (walk through U-Street, Dupont Circle, or Mount Vernon Square)Miami (wander Downtown, Wynwood-Edgewater, and Little Havana)Oakland, Calif. (go to Downtown, Koreatown-Northgate, or Fruitvale Station)Philadelphia (try Rittenhouse Square, Avenue of the Arts South, or Washington Square West)Seattle (consider Downtown, the International District, and Belltown)Long Beach, Calif. (the top spots go to Franklin School, Saint Mary, and Downtown)
In these cities, you can walk freely and amenities are close together, so you can pop into businesses that are handing out candy or grab an energy drink for Mom and Dad.
The “safest” cities in the U.S.
These cities are walkable, but are they safe? How do we define “safe,” anyway, especially knowing what we know about all the hype around trick-or-treating “dangers”? Chamber of Commerce did it by comparing cities with a population of over 100,000 across five variables: pedestrian fatalities, violent crime, property crime, number of registered sex offenders, and number of law enforcement employees.
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Their top ten list looks like this:Gilbert, Ariz.Cambridge, Mass.Cary, N.C.Naperville, Ill.Rochester, Minn.Irvine, Calif.Scottsdale, Ariz.Carlsbad, Calif.Glendale, Calif.Stamford, Conn.
It’s an imperfect science, but this gives you some ideas of what kinds of stats to pull on your own area before mapping out a route for your kiddos or sending them off on their own for the first time. Notably, California had cities in the top 10 of both lists, so largely, that state is most walkable and safest, but it all depends where you live. No matter where you are, check all the resources available to you.