How far away does a place have to be to make you drive there instead of walking?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by wordmunger, Aug 22, 2008.


How far away does a place need to be before you'll drive there

  1. Across the street

    5 vote(s)
  2. 100 yards (~90 meters)

    7 vote(s)
  3. 400 yards (~360 meters)

    10 vote(s)
  4. 1/2 mile (~0.8 km)

    20 vote(s)
  5. 1 mile (~1.6 km)

    19 vote(s)
  6. 2 miles (~3.2 km)

    25 vote(s)
  7. 5 miles (~8 km)

    13 vote(s)
  8. More than that

    3 vote(s)
  9. Don't own a car!

    11 vote(s)
  1. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    This woman drove two blocks from her home to find out where her daughter's new bus stop was (apparently she wasn't familiar with the area where she lived?).

    That got me to thinking -- how far away does something have to be for you to drive there instead of walking? Assume you're not carrying anything, just want to get from point A to point B.
  2. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2006
    Further than 3 miles or if its shopping in which case i need my car to transport it home as its rather hard to carry 6 carrier bags all the way home
  3. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    I used to regularly walk 40 minutes into town and sometimes the hour to work. Of course, if it was for food shopping then it's a 10 minute drive to the supermarket.

    Now, at times, I have trouble walking for more than 15 minutes without sitting down to rest.
  4. gibbz macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2007
    If it is within ~5 miles, I will ride my bike. Past that, well I am just not in shape enough to do so.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I have seen some lazy people drive 2 blocks on a regular basis.

    No wonder why Americans are getting fat.
  6. a456 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2005
    Sold our car in February and haven't missed it one bit. Taking the train with the kids is great, much better than staring at tarmac for hours. When I'm on my own, I use the coach or train and for short distances cycle or walk. Sometimes use local bus with kids, but get bored standing around if I'm alone so would rather walk.
  7. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I always walk into town (3 miles away), but it's a great walk. Goes through a foresty area, over a river. Really nice in Winter.

    Used to walk to and from college too. That's a 3 hour walk 3 days a week. Definitely my healthier days :D

    I think I just prefer walking. Either with a friend or 2, or the iPod. Gives me time to think. Also public transport is kinda fun, it costs more here (usually it's £6 in petrol to my girlfriends uni, or £15 for a bus and train) but I love taking the train too. Something romantic about it.
  8. Sideonecincy macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2003
    I am way too dependent on my car. I usually won't walk, unless I am walking a dog. If it isn't extremely hot outside I'll hop on my skateboard and skate to the destination, if it is within a certain distance.
  9. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I live in the suburbs so i have to drive everywhere. But I work downtown so I can walk to places for lunch. That's about it though.
  10. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Wow, there are some pretty intense walkers here. Even though I run 3 to 5 miles a day, I usually drive into town to pick up the mail (1.25 miles).

    I'm also embarrassed to admit that I've been at the mall and actually driven from one store to another in the same mall. In my defense, this is usually when I'm carrying a lot of stuff. Generally if it's less than a half mile, I'll walk.
  11. redwarrior macrumors 603


    Apr 7, 2008
    in the Dawg house
    I would walk everywhere if I could. But the nearest store is 10 miles from me, and I live in the mountains, steep ones. So I drive. But I park in one central location and walk to different stores. The scenery where I live is beautiful and when the weather is nice, there's nothing like it.
  12. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe
    For me, its not so much the distance but rather the neighborhood I'm in or need to go through that determines whether I walk or drive. Here, in South Boston (made famous by Good Will Hunting and The Departed), I find myself driving most everywhere. When I used to live in Brookline (birthtown of JFK), I'd walk most everywhere.
  13. Lau Guest

    Infinity miles!!!!11!!

    ...because I don't have a car. :p

    It's an interesting idea for a thread though, wordmunger. I think I would say I'd probably walk up to three miles away (but I wouldn't mind walking back after whatever I had to do there), then I'd cycle, say, ten miles and back, and more than that I'd catch a train or a bus.
  14. redwarrior macrumors 603


    Apr 7, 2008
    in the Dawg house
    If I had a bike lane available to me, I'd inline skate everywhere.
  15. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    2 miles, after that it becomes a bit of a drag trying to get there, I don't own a bike, don't see a point, bikes get stolen like it's looting season down here...

    Even after that I'll always try to take a bus or train to wherever I want to go, don't like clogging up the roads worse than they already are...
  16. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    It depends on the season. In the summertime, I'll ride my bike anywhere in town unless I have to do something like get groceries.

    In the winter, when it's below zero (that's zero Fahrenheit, folks), the furthest I'll go without my car is the mailbox.
  17. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    When I was in college in Chicago, we took the cold weather as a challenge. Any time the temperature dipped below zero, we would all walk to Harold's for some takeout fried chicken (1.5 miles away). At least the chicken kept your hands warm as you walked back to the dorm!
  18. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2006
    Ditto. I'm very ambitious about saving gas during the warmer seasons, but as soon as a brisk Nor' Easter comes through, I won't be caught walking 100ft, if I even come outside!
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    How big are your malls!? :eek:

    I do all my grocery shopping with my car. I could walk the 1 or 1.5 km, but I don't bother.
  20. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Based on this map, it looks like it's about 1,500 feet from Target to Lowe's. But if you don't want to get hit by a housewife in an H2, you'd need to stay on the sidewalk -- about 2,000 feet, by my guess, or about 4/5 of a mile round trip. You can see there's new construction to the right -- if you wanted to walk from the now-completed Staples to Lowes, it would be well over a mile round-trip.

    Attached Files:

    • mall.gif
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  21. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    Depends really what I am walking to and what the situation is.

    If I am in a city I will walk and walk and walk.

    If I am in the center of my town, I'll drive just because its actually easier.
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Yeah, I think this is a really good point. Two miles in the city may be much more traversable on foot than half a mile in a small town or a suburb that is not walking-friendly. Also two miles in one direction in a city may be very different than two miles in another direction, depending on what neighborhoods that takes you through, how residential they are, etc. I never really drive two blocks, but when I lived in Gainesville, I would often drive distances <2 miles, and sometimes even less than 1 mile. In Chicago, I only really drive once a week (40 miles one way, to another hospital I work with), but I generally walk up to about 2 miles, and I take public transportation for more than two miles, although if public transportation is available for shorter trips, depending on the area and the situation I might use it (e.g. if the origin and destination are right next to train stops).

    This is really the first time I've ever lived in a city with good public transport, though, and I'm really enjoying it.
  23. camomac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    Left Coast
    i walk a lot, over a mile one way usually.
    in the city i walk everywhere.
  24. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    At home I don't walk anywhere... there's nothing that's within walking distance.

    At college its either walking or taking the bus, because there's only a couple of resident parking lots on campus and they're always full.
  25. killr_b macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2005
    If it's farther than I can hit a golf ball, then I take a vehicle. Including on the course! :D

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