I want to split this post into two parts. First, I wanted to talk about the pedestrian facilities around where I live. Next Tuesday, I'll talk about my walk from Union Station to the Central Library.
First off, it should be noted that my wife and I selected the house we're renting because its a pedestrian friendly locale and because it was close to both Melrose Avenue and the Farmer's Market. I'm a dedicated pedestrian and a pretty good cook in the kitchen. The thought of being able to walk to the Farmer's Market whenever I wanted fresh produce, with most of the walk being through a park, was enough that we only looked at places within a mile or so of the market.
Unsurprisingly, this upper-middle-class enclave has some fantastic facilities. Plenty of crosswalks, walk/don't walk signals with countdown timers, and wide sidewalks are common. I've never had to choose between safety and convenience and the walk itself is an enjoyable one. Besides the pedestrian conditions, there is also a lot of street-level development, meaning there are interesting shops and stores along the way to the Farmer's Market.
The only drawback is that if you don't want to cut through The Grove, you end up with a walk that has more blank walls reducing the visual pleasantness of the walk.