Blog :: 12-2016

Walkability Is The New Black

Patio DiningI just read a piece in the New York Times about how today’s buyers are more interested than ever in homes “close to town,” further supporting my theory that walkability is, in fact, the new black.

On December 16, Marcelle Sussman Fischler writes, “With an uptick in buyers wanting to live within walking distance of restaurants, shops, schools, parks and train stations, single-family homes closer to town are selling better than ones that are farther afield, real estate agents say.”

She goes on to say that buyers think of walkability not just as a “convenience” but also as a “quality of life” choice. People want to run into friends on their way to the drugstore or a restaurant – and they’re not talking about fender-benders.

Being able to walk where you need to go makes life feel easy – at least it has for me. I live within a half mile of two of Montclair’s four main shopping areas -- Upper Montclair Village and Watchung Plaza --  and there are even more walkable “town hubs” beyond those. I love that I can walk to the movies, walk to great restaurants, walk to the post office, or the nail salon, or the bookstore. It’s one of the things that make the feeling of community here so very strong.

And you can feel the commitment of the community in keeping our “downtowns” lively and vibrant – not only by their patronage, but also in how very many residents open up their own shops or restaurants, creating the niche destinations that they want to see here.  

With so many “downtowns” in one town, it’s not too difficult to find a home that’s walkable to at least one of them. And the even better news is that if perching high atop a mountain with New York City views is more your thing, there’s plenty of off-the-beaten path homes to choose from too!

And I’m delighted to show you all of them – so you can find exactly the shade of black – I mean walkability -- you’re looking for.

 

The Bike Depot Cometh (To Bloomfield, NJ)

Bike ParkingThe other day, I drove into Manhattan on Saturday morning and headed to a block that, in the past, I’ve had good luck finding on-street parking. But not this time. Because, apparently, since my last time here, a big swath of curb space had been allocated for Citi-bikes.

Despite the inconvenience of an extended parking search, I was happy to see the city giving up parking spots in favor of bikablity. I am always on the lookout for examples of how walking and biking are supported.

So I was delighted to learn that our own Bloomfield Train Station is about to get a great bikability upgrade. It’s called a Bike Depot and, according to this month’s NJ Bike&Walk Coalition newsletter, it’s slated to be operational next month.

We already have a Bike Depot in the parking garage of the Bay Street Train Station in Montclair, and for many it has been a game changer. A portion of the garage is reconstructed to securely store bikes while their owners are away. Aside from keeping the bike safe and dry, there are also lockers where riders can stash bike shoes or helmets.

The Bloomfield Station Bike Depot is going up in the Glenwood Garage in downtown Bloomfield, so members can use it for commuting or while they’re shopping. Of course, I’m waiting for the day that every train station in the area has a section devoted to bike parking. But my habit of choosing to walk or bike over driving whenever I can has made me more patient overall.

If you’re looking for a home in an area that supports a smaller carbon footprint, let me tell you more about all the walkability and bikability benefits in living in Montclair and our surrounding towns. Next to finding people homes, it’s my passion. Call or text: 973-809-5277

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