Sunday, July 13, 2008

Walkability

Melissa from Better Living posted the link for a site that helps calculate how walkable your neighborhood is, Walk Score. You simply enter your address and it does the rest for you. My neighborhood registered at a 31 out of 100.
"25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must."
What's a little odd to me is that there are drugstores, grocery stores, restaurants, banks, etc within walking distance. There are not schools or libraries terribly close though. I am embarrassed to admit that I've never walked to any of the localations near me. When I walk in my neighborhood it's with the dogs, not to an outside destination.

Perhaps Walk Score will help to encourage me (and others?) to take advantage of the walkability of where we live.

13 comments:

helen said...

My walk score is just 20 so as you see my present neighborhood is not very walkable. This service can be especially useful for those who are going to buy a house cause it can help to estimate a particular location. But how often do we walk nowadays? I ve found one more service called drive score at
http://drivescore.fizber.com/ With it one can see how close
establishments are by car. Homes are often located in an area where restaurants, libraries, grocery stores, hospitals and other businesses are easier to get to by car than on foot.

Melissa said...

a question that I actually wondered about was how far is "walkable" - because it may not be the same for everyone. I'm really hoping google starts doing walking directions soon! right now it's all "as the crow flies" which isn't always very helpful!

BerryBird said...

I did this before when Electronic Goose posted it a while ago, but I went back to see if my score had changed because it seemed some locations were missing. I am still a 37. There must be some distance threshold counting against me, as there are tons of places in the 1-2 mile range that I walked to all the time when I was unemployed. Hardly anything within a half mile though.

Jenny F. Scientist said...

I just checked my neighborhood and it said '80' which is weird because most people DO get by without cars. In fact, I didn't have one for three years. It puts my parents at 20 though, which is just right. I think their list of businesses is sadly incomplete, though. They're missing a ton of stuff in my area.

Melissa said...

Jenny, I think I read that the businesses they list are taken straight from Google's business listings, so it very well could be incomplete.

Electronic Goose said...

I calculated my walk score a few months back and it was like 70 ... actually not sure why it's that low. I can't think of anything I would need that I can't walk to fairly easily around here.

I wonder, with what BerryBird commented, if they give you a higher score for a closer range, like a grocery store within a half mile is 2 points but within a mile is 1 point. I really wish the site would explain how they calculate things.

Smellyann said...

That's pretty cool, although we only received a 37. I wish it were higher, I'd love to be able to walk to more places. If I were in better shape I'd probably rollerblade more to the store and stuff, like I did in college. Oh well, maybe one day...

a friend said...

My area gets a 45 ...which is not very accurate! The lists are not up to date. (My kids can walk to Elementary and High school) There are Doctors, dentists, gift shops, banks, etc.,the community centre with an olympic size pool five minutes away. I can walk to see all the latest movies at the theatre in less than half an hour. there are two grocery stores a five to seven minute walk away.(one is listed under drug stores) Another new one, Bakeries, a fresh produce store, restaurants etc just 6 to seven blocks away. Very walkable ...even my three year old son has walked from there. The list for clothing stores are head offices or ones not in our city/township.( and no list of specialty shops, like bridal and children's clothing stores 6 to 7 blocks away) We have one car and have lived in the area for almost 12 years. I walk almost everywhere for most things. It is a five to seven minute drive to most other things,the mall, Best buy, Costco, Home depot, Canadian tire (they don't list our location), tons of restaurants, car dealers etc.( although the Hospital Is about a ten minute drive away)

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I lived in your neighborhood, once, long ago, and used to take a daypack or large backpack and walk to the store regularly. I even used to walk to an internet cafe that used to be there, but I think it's gone now, and to the Chinese takeout.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

My walkability score is 52/100 where I live now--I walk to the store almost every day! PB walks to school. The market I walk to is listed as .25 miles away, but I walk the long way around the block for extra exercise.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I can't see why the score is so low because there are good sidewalks and EVERYTHING is within walking distance. What do they WANT?

my word verification is mweep, lol!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I looked up what makes a neighborhood walkable, after seeing that my city as a whole also scores 42 and discovered PARKS are important--we don't have many--and accessibility--and mixed income--ours are VERY SEGREGATED! I believe in diversity, but the city I live in does not.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

A drivability score (eg Helen) is important perhaps, when buying a new home, but walkability is important for HEALTH and the ENvironment.