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Rethinking the 10 minute walk

Designers will often produce maps with circles along a transit corridor that reflect an 800 meter buffer, roughly a 10 minute walk. Of course, people can’t usually travel in straight lines; we follow the paths allowed by the road network. Isochrones are the shapes produced by tracing how far a person can actually walk in 10 minutes along the road network. We’ve been using isochrones to understand how access to amenities are impacted by road networks, both existing and proposed. Using this technique, we’ve looked at amenities near Boston’s MBTA subway stations, tested how new road networks can improve neighborhood connectivity, and evaluated how many residents are served by existing park systems.