With the price at the pump quite high the past few months across the United States, many people have been driving less and finding out how easy it is to walk in their neighborhood. As walkability becomes a buzzword, the website Walk Score is getting more attention and is this weeks linking the week site.
The premise of walkability is quite simple, the algorithm takes your location and finds how far you how from the closest amenities. Items within a 1/4 mile receive the highest points and those over one mile away receive no points. The items which are considered amenities include the grocery store, bookstores, bars, restaurants, libraries, schools, parks, fitness and many more.
As the formula is based on an algorithm there are some items which are not included as part of your walkability score. These include the street width, safe crossings, weather, safety and public transit. Another item which is not included is topography which shows in the results for San Francisco. Overall San Francisco ranks higher than New York City, however the topography in the areas are quite different with San Francisco having a few hills.
As I was checking out the site I decided to see how locations I have lived in the past ranked and found the following results:
- Current location – 88 (very walkable)
- Prior Colorado location – 74 (very walkable)
- Apartment in college (Tucson) – 57 (somewhat walkable)
- San Diego, CA – 26 (car dependent)
- Oak Park, IL – 65 (somewhat walkable)
The website also shows the most walkable cities , and by clicking on the city name you can find the rankings within the city itself. In Denver the top three areas are Lodo, Golden Triangle and Capitol Hill, with Gateway/Green Valley on the way to the airport ranking the lowest.
Be sure to check out the website to find your score, and leave a comment on this blog letting us know the walkability of your location.