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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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”. …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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"…

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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…

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

Recent Events

Providence - Boston Expedition

Providence to Boston July 23 to July 29 - Loredana, Ken and Nancy have finished thier 110 mile week-long expedition on the ECGA. More photos & story to follow.

Read Loredana's story on why she walks the expedition each year.

See Loredana's 7-day Photo Journal

Bronx Coast-to-Coast 2016

About 80 walkers covered the fascinatingly diverse region NYC from the Hudson to the Sound, while facing the beginning of the heat wave. Our thanks and welcome go to Shorewalkers who participated with us on this United Walking event.

Hudson Loop Walk 2016

About 65 FreeWalkers walked the the Hudson again for our 3rd year. Always a treat this time of year and a fan favorite.

 

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

Words to Walk By

A brief essay by Loredana Delluchi

Why Do You Want to Walk to Canada?

One beautiful day, while walking with FreeWalkers on the Connecticut East Coast Greenway (ECG), the desire to keep going all the way to Canada came over me. I spoke about it with my friends and the more I played with the idea, the bigger my smile became. 

Suddenly, my friend Ian Hochstead bent down, picked up a coin and said "Look Loredana!  It's a Canadian penny."  Overjoyed, with a theatrical reaction, I said "It's a sign! Now I must walk all the way to Canada to return the coin." 

During that same walk I met Ken Kurland who had the same dream of exploring the ECG to the Canada-US border at Calais, Maine. In fact, Ken and Nancy Jonap were already planning the next segment of the walk. I joined them and together we arrived in Providence. 

This year we are walking from Providence to Boston and I'm filled with joy thinking about the privilege I have to admire the beauty of America one step at the time.

Author Paulo Coelho wrote "When you really want something, the world conspires to make a dream come true".  

I'm grateful to Ken, Nancy, FreeWalkers and the ECG for helping me with my dream. One day I may be able to return the coin. :)


Loredana lives in New York City and has been a FreeWalker for over 5 years. She is the founder of a non-profit Knitting Without Borders, which provides hand-crafted teddy bears to sick children around the world. Her indomitable spirit inspires us all.

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