Chicago is the 6th most walkable large city in the U.S. According to Walk Score, the city’s 2,695,598 residents benefit from good public transportation, and it is cyclist-friendly. Chicago is noted for a walkable downtown and many walkable neighborhoods, connected by substantial city transportation from the ‘L’ and Metra Rail systems.

  • Walk Score calls Chicago the sixth most walkable large city in America.
  • Chicago has an overall Walk Score of 75.
  • Chicagoland has a Transit Score of 65, and a Bike Score of 70.

Chicagoland pedestrians rejoice: Chicago is the 6th most walkable large city in the U.S. According to Walk Score, the  city’s 2,695,598 residents benefit from good public transportation, and it is cyclist-friendly.

Chicago is noted for a walkable downtown and many walkable neighborhoods, connected by substantial city transportation from the ‘L’ and Metra Rail systems. It has a Walk Score of 75. This gives the city an overall Transit Score of 65. Its overall Bike Score is 70.

Walk Score seeks to quantify the most relevant methods of mobility in cities that contribute to a positive quality of life. The benchmarking includes a Walk Score, which measures the walkability of any address; the Transit Score, which measures access to public transit, and a Bike Score, which measures whether a location is good for biking.

Here are the five top neighborhoods in Chicago, by Walk Score:

West LoopWalk Score 96

West Loop’s Restaurant Row, bars and plentiful grocery stores give residents and visitors numerous opportunities to get out and get around. It is the smallest Chicago neighborhood in the top five, with 6,097 residents.

The ‘hood also boasts a perfect Transit Score, and has a Bike Score of 87.

Near North SideWalk Score 96

Near North Side is several distinct neighborhoods rolled into one pleasantly walkable chunk of Chicagoland. It is the largest neighborhood in the top five, with a headcount of 85,347. This is because Near North includes River North, Streeterville and the Gold Coast. Walk for 15 minutes in any direction and a wide variety of destinations for work or play are accessible.

Near North has a Transit Score of 90 and a Bike Score of 81.

East Ukrainian VillageWalk Score 96

East Village also has a sky-high Walk Score. The neighborhood is coming into its own as a destination for dining and shopping, most notably along Chicago Avenue, where it’s easy to craft a fun night out or find locally made goods. 

This neighborhood has a Transit Score of 74 and a Bike Score of 93.

Wicker ParkWalk Score 94

Wicker Park is a famous and fabulous neighborhood for trend-spotting of all kinds. Vintage and new mix seamlessly with eateries and a summer farmers market to provide everything needed for the hipster lifestyle within blocks. You can get around easily here, with a Transit Score of 74 and a Bike Score of 96.

Lincoln Park Walk Score 94

It’s a park and a neighborhood, with skyscrapers and scenic views. Transit is a snap from two transit lines, the Brown and the Red. This ease of rail transportation contributes to a Transit Score of 80. Lincoln Park also has a Bike Score of 88.

Walk Score measures the walkability of any address based on the distance to nearby places, and pedestrian friendliness. All of Chicago’s top five neighborhoods are called a “walker’s paradise,” meaning that daily errands don’t require a car.

Transit Score measures how well a location is served by public transit based on the distance and type of nearby transit lines. The top five in Chicago fall into one of the top two categories: either “rider’s paradise,” for those with scores between 90 and 100, or “excellent transit” for scores of 70 to 89. “Excellent transit” means that transit is convenient for most trips, and the honor of “rider’s paradise” indicates that the area has world-class public transportation.

Bike Score measures whether an area is good for biking based on bike lanes and trails, hills, road connectivity, and destinations. Chicago’s top five come in as either a “biker’s paradise” (score of 90 to 100) or “very bikeable” (score in the 70 to 89 range).

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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