Editor’s note: Number 3 is a Pennsylvania university!
On his several-days-a-week walks to and from work in Ithaca, NY, Tom Knipe breathes in the scent of lavender plants during temperate months. Along his ¾-mile route between work and home, Knipe also spots creatures like otters, mink, turtles, ducks and heron. Or he stops to chat with friends and neighbors. During the winter, Knipe notices the “beautiful” changes in the ice patterns in Cascadilla Creek as the water freezes and thaws.
“I typically walk when the weather makes it uncomfortable or less practical to ride my bike. So, during the winter months when there is lots of snow on the ground, I tend to walk to work on average three out of five days a week,” said Knipe, the tourism coordinator for Tompkins County, NY.
In Ithaca, a college town with about 30,000 residents in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region, Knipe is part of an army of walkers. Ithaca, the home of Cornell University and Ithaca College, ranks first among U.S. college towns for the percentage of workers who commute on foot, according to the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed by The SpareFoot Blog. It also leads the American Institute for Economic Research’s list of thetop college towns in the U.S.