Grand Rapids ranks 53rd best city for living without a car

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Photo by iStock

Grand Rapids is a fair place to live in terms of carless transit, according to a recent survey.

For those looking to live without wheels in 2021, online outdoor services agency LawnStarter released a study ranking Grand Rapids No. 53 out of the 150 biggest cities in the U.S. for a car-free lifestyle.

Grand Rapids had an overall score of 44.75. Comparatively, the highest-ranking city on the list was San Francisco with a total score of 65.62. At the bottom of the list was Shreveport, Louisiana, with a total score of 25.83.

Pacific Coast cities dominated the list with four — five including Honolulu — of the top 10 cities for living without a car. While performing well in all categories, cities like Portland, Oregon, broke through in access metrics such as the number of walking/hiking routes and bike score. And with milder temperatures, West Coast cities also received high scores on climate metrics.

The southern U.S. scored poorly overall, and Alabama had all four of its large cities ranking in the bottom 10. While places like Mobile and Montgomery have low walk and bike scores, the biggest hits to the Yellowhammer State were in the climate category. With extreme amounts of hot days and precipitation, it’s fair to assume Alabama commuters prefer air-conditioned cars to a wet and muggy sidewalk.

Best cities for carless lifestyle

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. Portland, Oregon
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Boston, Massachusetts
  5. New York City
  6. Honolulu, Hawaii
  7. Oakland, California
  8. Providence, Rhode Island
  9. Minneapolis, Maine
  10. Seattle, Washington

Worst cities for carless lifestyle

  1. Shreveport, Louisiana
  2. Montgomery, Alabama
  3. Little Rock, Arkansas
  4. Huntsville, Alabama
  5. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  6. Mobile, Alabama
  7. Overland Parks, Kansas
  8. Birmingham, Alabama
  9. Memphis, Tennessee
  10. Augusta, Georgia

Methodology

LawnStarter compared the 150 biggest U.S. cities across 20 key indicators of car-free lifestyle friendliness, calculating a total score from zero to 100. The metrics range from the number of walking/hiking routes to the share of residents who ride public transit to work to average sunshine in each city.

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