Paul Kiczek's Blog (154)

Walkonomics App Rates Walkability of a Street

Following the popularity of the Walk Score idea of rating a town based on pedestrian amenities, a new mobile and desktop app was recently released to rate more details. Where Walk Score can rate a community, Walkonomics uses a rating…


Added by Paul Kiczek on February 21, 2013 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Kids Who Walk or Bike to School Concentrate Better

A study of nearly 20,000 Danish kids between the ages of 5 and 19 found that kids who cycled or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school.

The process of getting…


Added by Paul Kiczek on February 14, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

“I am here” Days - Exploring NY, Unplugged and on Foot

There's a group of urban adventurers that have discovered what we already know.

There's something special in exploring our communities by foot. Maybe they are a little more casual in the way they meander about in New York City, but seems to me they come up with the same conclusions as we FreeWalkers have learned about walking together and…


Added by Paul Kiczek on January 25, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Reflecting on the Life of Peace Pilgrim - Her 28 Year Walk

Starting out in 1953, Mildred Norman changed her name to "Peace Pilgrim" and began a walk that only ended at her death 28 years later in 1981. She walked across America many times and much of Canada. By 1964, she estimated she had walked 25,000 miles and then stopped counting. People took notice.

She gave new meaning to the word minimalist,…


Added by Paul Kiczek on January 4, 2013 at 4:30pm — 3 Comments

The Case for Walkability as an Economic Development Tool

Here's an interesting article about Lancaster, California which has suffered economic downturns but in 2008 created a "Form-based code" that zoned a devastated  downtown for promoting pedestrian traffic and businesses. Now, downtown is called "THE BLVD".

The program has been a success and now town is converting to a 100% solar powered city.…


Added by Paul Kiczek on January 4, 2013 at 3:22pm — No Comments

Why People in Cities Walk Fast

Do pedestrian walking speeds indicate a city's economic activity? It turns out there's a rather long history of research into the speed of walking in cities, and that the evidence suggests a strong connection between fleetness of foot and fatness of wallet.

For years a theory was held that the size and density of the population led to a "social…


Added by Paul Kiczek on December 18, 2012 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The Wild Parrots of Edgewater: How ya doin?

If you've walked HudsonLoop30 or the Hudson River Walkway in Edgewater, a few miles from the GWB, there's a good chance if you looked up in the trees you would see a double-take sight - Parrots flying around and in huge nests in trees. 

It turns out these are Monk parrots, the only breed of 358 parrots that can survive and thrive the harsh New Jersey winters. They do this by…


Added by Paul Kiczek on December 6, 2012 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Marchetti’s Constant and the Airport Walk

Here's an interesting article about two different ideas.

"Marchetti's Constant" is a rule applied to transportation issues. The mean amount of time people all over the world spend in everyday transit is about an hour. Based on research by Cesare Marchetti, he found that…


Added by Paul Kiczek on November 16, 2012 at 12:41pm — No Comments

Halloween is 'Deadliest Day' Of The Year For Child Pedestrians

No surprise here! But, some scary news.

Kids have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. State Farm®, the nation's leading auto insurer, teamed up with research…


Added by Paul Kiczek on October 23, 2012 at 8:07pm — No Comments

Warning: Sitting Can be Hazardous to Your Health

An Australian study found adults who spends an average of six hours a day watching TV over the course of a lifetime can expect to live 4.8 years fewer than a person who does not watch TV.

In fact, every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life…


Added by Paul Kiczek on October 23, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

International Walk to School Day

Did you know that there is an International Walk to School Day? It just occurred Oct 3rd and there was local participation in our nearby towns. Kids from the Montclair Cooperative School celebrated with students and parents marching up the sidewalks to school and will continue walking and biking throughout the month of “WALK-tober”. …


Added by Paul Kiczek on October 5, 2012 at 2:25pm — No Comments

An Unscenic Urban Walk: From Lower Manhattan to Kennedy Airport

FreeWalkers are not the only odd ones walking in unusual places as this New York Times article suggests. 

There's an annual 13-mile walk in New York City from Union Square to JFK Airport headed by Andy Maskin, a Gramercy Park resident started on a gratingly beautiful day in 2004. He was inside; he…


Added by Paul Kiczek on September 18, 2012 at 11:07am — No Comments

Middlesex Greenway Dedication

An old railroad corridor has now officially been transformed into the Middlesex Greenway. The Middlesex Greenway evolved by converting the abandoned Lehigh Valley Railroad into a 3.5-mile linear County Park Trail from Crows Mill Road in…


Added by Paul Kiczek on September 17, 2012 at 9:52pm — No Comments

Put on Your Exoskeleton and Take a Walk

Companies and research labs are working on wearable robots made to help disabled people or to make the human body superhuman. Suits for the disabled are now used in rehabilitation centers, but a day may come when they will let people take to the sidewalks, the shopping malls — and maybe…


Added by Paul Kiczek on September 14, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments

Interactive Walks Designed for the Experience

There's a new breed of walking that's growing in urban environments where curious walkers experience anything from philosophical discourse to poetry and nature - both night and day.

Groups such as Elastic City in NYC recently presented a 10…


Added by Paul Kiczek on September 12, 2012 at 10:49am — No Comments

What Motivates Americans to Exercise?

Research has pointed out that the way we frame our message to exercise may be a good part of the reason so many people give it up.

It seems that we need to create a message that exercise provides more immediate results that motivate us individually. Instead of promising results in months and…


Added by Paul Kiczek on August 31, 2012 at 2:50pm — No Comments

The Dirty Side of Walking: Banned Racewalker Admits to Doping

Does this sound familiar? But for walking?

Italian racewalking champion Alex Schwazer admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs in the run-up to the London Olympics, a potentially career-ending move that led to his exclusion from the Games.

At his first news…


Added by Paul Kiczek on August 30, 2012 at 9:18pm — No Comments

Walking Gained as the Most Common Physical Activity by U.S. Adults


Added by Paul Kiczek on August 28, 2012 at 10:21pm — No Comments

ECGA Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Lincoln Park in Jersey City

I along with FreeWalkers David Asher and Corey Storch attended a ribbon cutting ceremony with DOT officials and Mayor Healy (shown here) last Friday to celebrate the improvements between Newark and Jersey City - sometimes known as no-man's land or as we like to call it, "Intersection Hell"…


Added by Paul Kiczek on June 25, 2012 at 10:11pm — No Comments

Is Slow and Steady the Best Exercise?

The College of Sports Medicine in San Francisco recently reported that in a large study of adults over a 30 year span, those that reported that they ran for exercise had about a 19% lower death rate than non-runners.

But, more interesting was that…


Added by Paul Kiczek on June 13, 2012 at 5:08pm — No Comments

Recent Events

Live from the trail:
Hartford-Providence Expedition

Columbia to Putnam July 29 - Loredana, Ken and Nancy are on a 110 mile week-long expedition on the ECGA. This day they have company. Read Reporter's Notes for the latest news from our explorers.

Hudson Loop Walk 2015

About 65 FreeWalkers got past the morning rain and were rewarded with a great day for walking the Hudson. Always a treat this time of year and a fan favorite.

See survey results here.

Boston Greenbelt Walk 2015

About 35 walkers made their way through the towns, parks and lands surrounding Boston from Newton to Malden on May 30 for our annual journey marking a great new trail to enjoy. There's a vibrant walking community here for FreeWalkers!

See survey results here.

The Big Walk 2015

Our 6th annual "Big Walk" was held on May 16th with a small tough group of 18 challenging the elements and the extreme distance. The rains finally came but it didn't dampen the spirits!
Survey results
Event Photos

Camino Portuguese Walking Tour

From 4/18 to 4/25 22 FreeWalkers traveled to Spain to walk the ancient pilgrim trails from Tui to Santiago de Compostela. Part of the famed Camino de Santiago. We walked 75 miles north to Santiago seeing the province of Galicia through villages, cities and farmlands. A most memorable European adventure. See survey results here.

The BeTween Walk

On 4/18, 19 FreeWalkers participated in our 5th annual 12-mile easy walk through Middlesex County. Group pic? Always an interesting detour in the heart of NJ.

Great Canal Walk

On 4/11, 30 FreeWalkers participated in our 5th annual 40-mile tough walk along the D&R Canal. Survey show 5 of 13 respondents made it to the end.

See survey results here.

EMS Private Club Sale & Camino Meeting

James Gallagher, mgr of EMS Bridgwater opened his store up for a private sale - 20% off everything, free prizes, pizza & discussion of prepping for the Camino. Great event for 15 FreeWalker guests.

Spring Ahead Walk

25 walked the D&R Canal from Trenton to Princeton 3/22/15. See photos here.

Old Croton Aqueduct Trail #2 Walk

19 walkers trekked along the icy trail from Tarrytown to Van Cortland on March 15. See photos here.

Summary by Jack Shi.

Kennedy 50-Mile Walk

On February 7, 2015 about 40 walkers braved the cold and re-lived the 50-mile walk along the C&O Canal that Bobby Kennedy made famous.

See for details.

Hudson Waterfront South Walk

On Superbowl Sunday, February 1st, over 60 walkers from four walking groups joined together to walk 20-miles from Liberty State Park to the Bayonne Bridge. This was our first "UnitedWalking Event" a successful one to kick off our new big event program.

Click here for details.

Past Events

Tour of Brooklyn 2014 & Year End Party

On November 16, 2014 about 35 FreeWalkers followed our native Brooklynite, Renata Luisi and walked from Penn Station to Willaimsburg topping off the 2014 season with a rousing visit to the Radegast Beer Hall.

The Battle of Short Hills Walk

On October 18, 2014 about 29 FreeWalkers followed a Revolutionary War historic battle march into the Watchung mountains as well as experience other historical sites along the way.

The Origins Walk: Lenape34

On Monday, October 13, 2014,our 5th annual 34-mile trek through the wilds of Essex County will took place - a tough event to finish.

The Endless Summer Walk

Over 32 FreeWalkers extended their 2014 summer by walking our 4th annual Jersey shore event on September 27th.

In Their Footsteps

These FreeWalkers have demonstrated our spirit of determination, adventure and community and help set the standard for the rest of us. Awards were presented at the June 22nd Celebration Event. Click here to learn their personal story and what it means to be a FreeWalker.

Words to Walk By

Why We Walk

Why choose this as our goal? Why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

-From President Kennedy’s 1962 speech at Rice University

Why We Don't (Walk)

Why choose doing as little as possible as our goal? Why take a long nap? Why, 35 days ago, insist on flying first class across the Atlantic? Why does Texas play Rice?

We choose to look at the moon. We choose to utter platitudes in this decade and do few other things, not because they are hard, but because they are easy, because that goal will serve to attract votes, because true challenges are those that we are unwilling to address, ones which we are willing to pass onto others, and ones which we intend to ignore.

From FreeWalker, Art McDonald, Rock Hill, SC

Read Art's inspiring essay "On Walking RFK's 50"

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