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National City Honored As Most ‘Walkable’ City

Aired 11/1/12 on KPBS News.

Walk San Diego recognizes National City as San Diego County's number one city for encouraging people to walk as a means of transportation.

— National City has a dense pattern of low-volume streets. It also has many destinations and transit stops that are within walking distance of homes.

National City Mayor Ron Morrison (right) received a plaque to honor his city as the most "walkable" city in all of San Diego County.

That's why the group Walk San Diego gave it top honors as San Diego County's most walkable city.

The group today announced the results of its first-ever Regional Walk Scorecard. The scorecard ranked local cities based on their policies and infrastructure that encourage people to walk. It also rated cities based on how many people used walking or mass transit as a means of transportation.

The group presented the results of its scorecard at an event in San Diego's Gaslamp District. The event was purposefully scheduled on Halloween, a holiday that encourages families to walk around their neighborhoods.

Jim Stone, the executive director of Walk San Diego, said the scorecard is meant to encourage cities to become more walkable.

"Cities that are more walkable are more desirable places," he said. "They're better for people's health. There are improvements to the economy in places that are walkable."

Stone added that encouraging people to walk strengthens the social bonds that hold a community together.

"We hear so much about social networks. The best social network you can ever get is to go for a walk about say hello to your neighbors," said Stone.

The mayor of National City, Ron Morrison, attended the event and received a plaque.

La Mesa and Solana Beach came in second and third in the group's walk scorecard. Imperial Beach, Carlsbad and the city of San Diego also received high rankings.

There was one downside for National City that related to its high volume of walkers. It also has the county's highest rate of traffic accidents involving pedestrians.

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