Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Walk Score

Here's a handy, fun, and utterly worthless tool that calculates the Walk Score for your particular residence. Go ahead and try it. I did and found that my particular abode registers a 28 out of 100, which is considered "Poor."

But if you were to actually look at the map that comprises all those walkability components near my home, you would see a bunch of green and blue -- green for parks, and blue for water. You know why? Because I live within a half mile of two metro parks, and within a couple hundred yards of a lake.

Here's the deal: I live in the perfect neighborhood for walking, and I walk all the time. I walk through the woods. I walk along the shore of a lovely lake. And when I take a walk, those are the kinds of places I like to walk. But because I can't easily walk to a Starbucks, and because the nearest Tae Kwan Do establishment is miles away, my neighborhood is dinged for not being very walkable. Screw it. What urban moron thought that these categories would be meaningful to anyone who doesn't wear a robe and a headband all day?

9 comments:

jackscrow said...

Hmmmmm, wonder how my "neighborhood" rates....

Lessee, no Starbucks (or any other commercial entity)within 8 miles, while we "walk-the-dogs", it really doesn't count. How's about a 4 hour mushroom hunt down the sides of a ridge with a little rockclimbing and creek wading thrown in? Bet you don't get points for that. Or the trek into the woods to drag the tree out, so you can cut it up for firewood?

Ha! I did it. My score was 0 (zero, as in NOTHING).

Confirms practically everything I believe in every bone of my civilization hating body.

Btw, new "the everybodyfields" out today. Woo-hoo.

John McCollum said...

[sheepishly removing headband and robe...]

mosiacmind said...

O.K. I live near the Corner of Henderson and Kenny Rd and got a 6 and I put in my sister's address who lives in downtown Springfield that is being redone and that address got a 2...

john r. williamson said...

Yes, Andy,

I can't agree more!

I am with you, even though I live within walking distance of parks AND Starbucks (i've been THERE about 4 times in the past 4 years). our favorite place to walk is the LA Arboretum, which is a 5 minute drive from here. We go there often to pretend that we have a yard.

Anonymous said...

guys, i feel like i'm going to get berated, but i think you're missing the point. it seems to me that the idea of the walkability score is to see if you could get away with the equivalent of 'not owning a car' -- you know, could your neighborhood satisfy all your social and commercial needs without you having to fire up the chevy?

sure, we all walk. in fact, there's absolutely no commercial limit on walkability, uh, anywhere. for that measure you'd need a web form like:

do you have legs: y n

y = 100
n = 0

-jnf

Andy Whitman said...

I think that probably is the intent, Josh, but the scope is still too narrow.

One of the reasons we bought our current home was because of "walkability" factors that aren't accounted for in the current model at all. Kate and I walk a lot; we always have. And being close to two metro parks and a large body of water figured greatly into our choice of where we live. These were places we wanted to walk. Our home itself -- a basic 4-bedroom, 2.5 neo-Colonial -- has been more or less duplicated tens of thousands of times in central Ohio. What could not be duplicated was the neighborhood. And we knew that we would spend a lot of time walking in those parks and near that water.

In other words, walkability -- and a kind of walkability that isn't even on the radar of the people who put this tool together -- was a prime factor in deciding where to live.

There's nothing wrong with being close to urban amenities, of course. But some of us prefer sunset on the water to proximity to Tae Kwon Do instructors. That's a viewpoint that probably would make no sense to the creators of the Walk Score tool.

Petey said...

77. maybe i can live the impossible dream of selling my car.

Dasha said...

I believe that walk score is cool, but nowadays more and more people prefer to drive cars. Homes are often located in an area where some establishments are easier to get to by car than on foot. I've recently found a type of service on drivescore.fizber.com which is called Drive Score. It shows a map of what establishments are in your neighborhood and calculates a Drive Score based on the number of places within a convenient driving distance.

Mousee said...

Dasha, I can't agree with you! I think that we need to take both into consideration - walkscore and drivecore. It will show the whole picture...
But you are right - drivescore
at fizber site is rather good service