Report Finds Davis Has a Number of Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Region

An article that originally ran in late August, was re-run this week in the Sacramento Bee.  “Want a walkable neighborhood? These rank highest for amenities in the Sacramento region.”

They note that “neighborhood walkability has become a key selling point for many buyers and renters. Researchers concluded in a 2011 study that good walkability could boost property values up to 9 percent.”

The key: projects that have a small town or urban feel “where stores, restaurants, parks and other amenities are mixed in with homes or apartments.”  Walkable mixed use projects.

They note that the Sacramento region as a whole “isn’t known for that kind of development. But some areas have been gaining walkable terrain lately.”

Among the 12 most walkable neighborhoods in a four-county view of the Sacramento region, three are located in Davis (although really it’s five because they combine University Avenue, Old North and Old East into one).

Downtown Davis was tied with Midtown Sacramento for No.1.  Ironically because Downtown Davis doesn’t have a lot of housing.

The Bee writes: “Adjacent to the university campus, this homey downtown is arguably more walkable than midtown Sacramento, and is singularly the place in the region where cars do not rule at intersections. Instead, drivers must sit and wait and wait as multitudes of pedestrians and bicyclists amble and pedal to and from the college town’s many small shops and eateries. The Saturday farmers market in Central Park may have the highest density of pedestrians jammed elbow-to-elbow in the area.

“Again, you’ll pay for the amenities. Prices of homes on the market last week were in the $600,000s.”

Coming in at No.6 – Central Davis: “This is, in fact, our grouping of three central Davis neighborhoods that surround the core downtown, all of which individually got high Redfin walkability scores. The neighborhoods are called University Avenue, Old Davis North and Old East Davis. Homes here are often modest but stylish and well-kept on pleasant streets — and not many go up for sale.”

Finally at No.7 is Aggie Village: “Aggie Village is also among the neighborhoods that border downtown Davis, but it is newer than the others and carries a distinction. It’s a cozy neighborhood of bungalows, backed by in-law units, on an infill site between downtown and the university, built when most developers in the region were designing sprawling, large-lot subdivisions far from amenities and jobs.

“Homes in this tiny enclave — popular among professors and other university employees — rarely come up for sale, though.”  (The write up fails to explain that Aggie Village was designed as university housing).

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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    1. David Greenwald

      Wasn’t my source and frankly don’t know much about it.  Can’t really disagree with the picks – although I would note there is not a lot of housing in the downtown and not a lot of mixed use in some of the other neighborhoods.

  1. Todd Edelman

    I live near Pole Line and Loyola. There is a park close-by and one a bit further. There’s nowhere to have a casual beer or coffee within a short walk. Two markets not too far but it’s difficult to walk with a lot of groceries.

    When I lived in Prague there was a metro station within a five minute walk, and multiple tram stops within a two to ten minute walk, including one that operated 24/7.

    There was a small store next door that had a lot of everything food-wise, except for fresh produce which was across the street. Multiple pubs, etc.  At the time I was not drinking milk or needing ice for beverages, so for two years I had no fridge.

    Also your photo of our town’s cute, little central patio which conveniently puts out of frame the large, ugly central nearly-free to parking car storage area in the public right of way is exceptionally annoying!!

    1. Keith O

      You complain about not being able to walk home from the store with bags of groceries and then want to complain about people driving and parking to the stores.  Which is it?

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