Driving Is Killing Us

You have the right to a walkable life

Antonia Malchik
4 min readMay 12, 2022
Black and white, two children walking down a road. Taller child has arm around shorter child.
Photo: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Ask yourself this question: if you stepped foot outside your door, would you be able to walk anywhere you needed or wanted to go? Can you walk to a store, a library, school, or work? If your answer is “no,” what’s stopping you? Distance, highways, private property, broken or absent or inaccessible sidewalks?

These are some of the questions I carried with me as I wrote my book A Walking Life. I wanted to write a book for the “everywalker”: a single mom working two jobs; a family living in areas of high crime with decades of disinvestment, crumbling sidewalks, and no parks; a wheelchair user who has little access to usable sidewalks or decent public transportation; a 46-year-old father who commutes an hour each way to a corporate job he hates and rarely sees his kids.

If bipedal walking is truly what makes our species human, as many paleoanthropologists claim, what does it mean that we have designed walking right out of our lives?

Even before a global pandemic shut many of us up in homes and apartment buildings, human beings were spending more time sedentary and alone than ever before. Our movement was — and is — restricted by a combination of a car-centric culture and an insatiable thirst for productivity.



Antonia Malchik

Antonia Malchik is the author of A Walking Life: Reclaiming Our Health and Our Freedom One Step at a Time; walking, tech, community, and embodiment.