A Scenic Commute by Foot

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A survey by the Brookings Institution rated the Washington region as the most walkable urban area in the country. Such findings are put to the test by Peter Owen, a lawyer and former chairman of a citizen advisory commission on transportation in Arlington. He works near Union Station and lives in Clarendon. Several times a week, he walks home. Owen has more than a half-dozen basic routes, which can take him across the Roosevelt, Memorial or Key bridge. I tagged along on Oct. 24. The temperature was in the mid-50s. The sun set at 6:17 p.m.

-- Robert Thomson

· Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building: We start walking from the plaza at 5 p.m. Owen is dressed in work clothes, wearing a jacket and tie, but the jacket will come off as we progress.

· Cross Massachusetts Avenue at Columbus Circle: It's a wide expanse with heavy traffic that many walkers complain about. It's destined for some pedestrian safety improvements.

· Across Capitol Hill's parks: The scenery is great, and the sidewalks are wide. The cool fall temperatures are fine for a brisk walk, but Owen will do this year-round.

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