"What these surveys tend to reveal is that most Americans would like to live in places that don’t really exist. As Barbara McCann, director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, says, “people want a big house on a big lot, where there are stores they can walk to.” The truth is there are relatively few places in America that today would pass what architect Hal Box has dubbed the “Popsicle Rule”—“a child must be able to walk safely from home to buy a Popsicle within five minutes.” (And given the current concerns about childhood obesity, make that an organic-fruit-no-corn-syrup-added-Popsicle)." ~ Tom Vanderbilt, "Walking in America"
A great 4 part article on walking. Seriously. It's facinating.