Website helps identify walker-friendly neighborhoods

When I lived in downtown Washington, D.C., I didn’t have a car. I didn’t have a need for one. The grocery store was four blocks away from where I lived, my job was less than a mile, my husband worked from home, the metro went everywhere I regularly went (including the airport), and I saved so much money on gasoline, insurance, maintenance, and car payments that I never felt frustrated if I needed to take a cab.

Many of our readers who subscribe to a simple living lifestyle and also eschew car ownership might be interested in a website I stumbled upon recently. Walk Score rates different addresses based on their distance to walkable locations like grocery stores, restaurants, libraries, schools, parks, and then looks at accessibility, speed controlled streets, and other walking-friendly factors. According to the website, I used to live in a “walkers’ paradise” with a score of 92 out of 100 possible points. I would agree completely with that score.

Readers looking for a car-less lifestyle should definitely give Walk Score a look before your next move. The site’s how it doesn’t work page is worth a read, too. It’s informative and quite entertaining.

10 Comments for “Website helps identify walker-friendly neighborhoods”

  1. posted by Eric on

    Looks like we killed it

  2. posted by Rachel on

    Although the score for my neighbourhood seemed pretty accurate, the data used to get that score was entirely wrong — there were movie theatres, coffee shops and schools listed that didn’t exist, an ice cream places was counted as a bar, a wiccan shop as a bookstore, and two libraries close by were ignored in favour of one blocks away. They say they get their information from Google, but something is definitely going wrong.

  3. posted by Jessica on

    I’ll have to agree with Rachel. Score seems accurate but with the exception of the places to eat the amenities were skewed to say the least. What they called a bookstore is an adult store and I wouldn’t consider a convenience store a grocery store. Plus I wouldn’t walk much farther than a block in my neighborhood after dark.

  4. posted by s.b. on

    Rachel – did you read the “how it doesn’t work” page? It’s not their fault.

  5. posted by Lizzie on

    I’d give it great marks for accuracy – although it makes me marvel that I moved from a neighborhood that was truly 100 (Upper West Side in Manhattan) to a house that’s a 0…

  6. posted by chelle on

    well, i totally live with a car…somehow and sometimes it keeps me frustrated on spending a lot on maintenance and car expenses…but the important fact is, ‘i do live with a car’…i traveled distances from home to work, i managed to go shop with it…and absolutely, for now i was facing car problems…i just have to look for cheaper subaru auto parts..perhaps people looking for car-less lifestyle saves much…

  7. posted by Debbie on

    I love this site. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I’m definitely using it next time I move because after living near friends, living near cool stuff to walk to is my number 1 priority.

    I checked my place, which I think of as fairly good (48), my favorite places I used to live (74 and 82), my parent’s place in boring suburbia (31-they have more stuff nearby than I knew!), and my sister in empty suburbia (11).

    My real number is higher because I live less than a mile from an old airport that is being redeveloped, and not even the streets are on google yet. Also, as someone said, it’s good to see what KIND of stores (mine are mostly ethnic food stores, much better than corner stores), etc. you have. I found some places I never knew existed, but they are not for me anyway.

  8. posted by lurkette on

    That was interesting! Though I agree that the score for my place was accurate (82), like previous posters, the businesses listed were completely wacky. Including: counting a social services office (which deals with food stamps) as a restaurant, counting a 7-11 and three small liquor stores as grocery stores, skipping the six-restaurant row a block away, counting a travel broker and a law office as libraries, and adding a movie theater were there is nothing of the sort.

    Nonetheless, a really interesting idea and good results, even if the details were a little zany!

  9. posted by Cliff on

    I hate the car. The car irks me. Here in New Orleans its necessary, not only because you can’t walk unless you’re willing to ruin your office attire with stinky sweaty mugginess. I used to live right at zip 39211, Jackson MS, which gets the all-time low walk-score of 3 out of 100.

    I love the idea of a walk-score. I’m going to keep this in mind. That website currently hits on the internet keyword “walk score” so you don’t even have to bookmark it! Talk about uncluttered! 🙂

  10. posted by Ethel on

    DH and I just started living car-free (well, it’ll be official once we sell our broken vehicle), and we have a score of 65 at our neighborhood. Although it’s actually pretty walkable for our needs, we’ve been practicing to go car-free for a couple months.

    I’ll be looking at this site when we need to move. Very handy.

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