How walkable is your neighborhood?

Recently I came across this cool tool to rate how walkable your neighborhood is (via The Simple Dollar).

You just type in your address and it calculates your “walk score” based on the proximity to grocery stores, parks, libraries, restaurants, bars, services, schools, churches, etc. It has its flaws — it lists Jamba Juice as a “bar” and in our neighborhood, it includes several retailers that have closed, so I’m unsure how often it is updated.

I would think it would be an especially great tool if you are thinking of relocating and walkability is one of your top priorities. Our neighborhood scored 80. The farm I was wishing to buy a few months back scored 0 (with basically NOTHING closer than 10 miles away).

If nothing else, it made me feel really guilty that I don’t bike more often … but I do walk to the grocery store, drugstore, park, etc.

How does your ‘hood rank?


10 thoughts on “How walkable is your neighborhood?

  1. L'an says:

    Huh… That’s a cool tool, but frankly, I don’t quite get how they come up with their ranks (even after looking at the info on “what the score means” and “what it doesn’t mean.”) My neighborhood ranks a paltry 65 whereas my parents’ neighborhood ranks a 77. I can only guess that having a “shopping center” in the vicinity of your location unfairly skews the algorithm? (Which seems counter-productive because official shopping centers tend to be so very un-walkable.) But… it’s nice to see that someone is trying to calculate this if even in an un-exact way. šŸ™‚

  2. Verda Vivo says:

    Ouch, my neighborhood is a scant 8 out of 100. Apparently, the proximity of buying stuff is the criteria for walkability. We are out of town so that does mean using a vehicle for shopping (we combine errands and map out our route). However, there are plenty of walkers, bikers and runners (okay, I’m usually the only one running) in my neighborhood though only for exercise and not to run errands. I’m partial to the rabbits and quail families in our backyard and the coyote that I see walking just outside in the arroyo. I guess you can’t have it both ways. ~ Daryl

  3. cheaplikeme says:

    @Verda Vivo – Well, buying stuff, going to school, going to a park, going to the library — areas of *human* interaction seems to be the deciding factor, though! Maybe you can launch your own “how nature-friendly is your neighborhood” site?

  4. Melinda says:

    I have been meaning to post about this for the last couple of months – you beat me to it! I’m very proud to say that we went from a whopping “2” in Geyserville, CA to a “92” in Seattle, WA!! I’m very proud to say that, as we moved for the very reason of living more sustainably.

  5. sam says:

    Hello Cheap!

    The garden is looking great!!!

    Thanks for the walking scale tool šŸ™‚ Thanks for the walkable tool. It was fun to use, the neighborhood we live in now rated at the high end of the middle and one of the neighborhoods we are looking into moving to was just a few points behind. I am jealous of all those of you who are getting uber high walkability!


  6. cheaplikeme says:

    @Melinda – wow! Cities are more walkable, and as you’ve pointed out, in some ways greener … on a recent trip to NYC the metrocards had a graph of how much lower a typical NYC resident’s carbon footprint is than that of a typical American.

    @Sam – The thing to bear in mind though is whether you can walk to things you’ll *use* … our neighborhood got points for a couple of stores like Ebony Men’s Fashion that we wouldn’t shop at … and that have closed … and the local bar is a little too scary.

  7. erin says:

    I blogged about this recently on my internal work sustainability blog (that was a mouthful). We score a 68 – there are parks and restaurants and grocery stores but no other businesses (i.e. you can live here but there aren’t a lot of places to work). Still – we like our neighborhood and walk everywhere we can.

  8. uponourhips says:

    Thanks for this cool link, I just found your blog and it’s great! We scored an 89 of 100….though who wants to walk around here at night…

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