Monday, August 13, 2007

Cool Tool: Walk Score

How walkable is your neighborhood?

Find out with a click of the mouse at Walk Score (which I first read about on the fabulous Design Boner blog -- be sure to bookmark DB if you haven't already).

Here's how it works: Simply plug your address or the address of a home you're considering renting or buying into Walk Score's convenient calculator. The site then uses Google Maps to locate nearby (or not-so-nearby, as the case may be) stores, restaurants, schools, parks, and other amenities before spitting out a "walk score" between 0 and 100.

The score breakdown:

* 90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.

* 70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.

* 50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.

* 25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.

* 0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!

Bummer for me: My friendly little 'hood in the Oakland hills (which I love in every other way, except for the fact that I have to drive somewhere else to get a decent cup of coffee) scored a paltry 54 -- compared to a respectable 71 in my old stomping grounds of outer Noe Valley, San Francisco and a whopping 94 for the nabe I lived in before that (Cobble Hill, Brooklyn).

As a result, Walk Score explains, my health suffers and I produce more greenhouse gases, have fewer transportation options, weaker local businesses, and lower "social capital."

How does your neighborhood rate? Find out here.

(Photo: "Walk_Don't Walk," by flickr member ale2000.)

1 comment:

Mousee said...

My walk score is 22… I was rather upset with it. And I was surprised to know that there is another score called drive score to evaluate my house. I found the way to calculate it online at Fizber site (http://drivescore.fizber.com/). I’ve got much better results – 44.

 

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