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How walkable is Winston-Salem?

Once you get away from the city center, sidewalks can be hard to find. The city has a long-term plan for improvements.

WStoday_Trade Street

Downtown Winston-Salem has sidewalks and crosswalks to support pedestrians.

Photo by WStoday

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Could you make it to work on foot? What about running all your local errands without getting behind the wheel? Winston-Salem has an average walk score of 22 — which, according to, means it is a car-dependent city.

Downtown has the best walk score in the city at 79. The West End, Belview, Wachovia Highlands, and Forest Park neighborhoods round out the top five. However, only 15 out of 89 neighborhoods earned a score of at least 50, which means we’ve got work to do.

So, how can Winston-Salem take steps in a positive direction? Let’s take a look.

Getting things moving

Mobility challenges are already on the city’s radar. Walking audits could be complete as soon as October in the Reynoldstown + Slater Park neighborhoods.

Winston-Salem also has an 11-member Bicycle/Pedestrian/Active Mobility Advisory Committee. The mayor appoints citizens who apply to offer recommendations to city council.

Keeping pace with the future

In 2018, voters approved a $43.7 million dollar bond for street and sidewalk projects, like making pedestrian improvements to Polo Road between Reynolda Road and Long Drive. The New Walkertown Road traffic study — another project that seeks to upgrade sidewalks and add pedestrian refuges in medians — is under public review.

The Walkable Winston-Salem Pedestrian Master Plan was adopted in 2021. Data and public input informed a long-term strategy to making the entire city more suitable for walking.

Taking it in stride

So, what should you do when you want to go for a walk but notice a problem? Here are some steps to take:

  • The city takes requests for new sidewalks from citizens. The city has to determine whether the project is feasible so it’s not a done deal once you submit a form, but it’s possible you can spearhead getting additional sidewalks added to your neighborhood.
  • If you come across a sidewalk that needs to be repaired or replaced, contact the city’s Streets Supervisor or dial City Link at 311.

And don’t forget — there are greenways, walking paths, and pedestrian bridges that offer a breath of fresh air.