Walking around Pike Place Market (by Greekafella- Wikipedia)

I found an interesting site the other night that rates your neighborhood in terms of walkability. The website Walkscore will search a specific address or whole zip code and based on their algorithm will calculate how walkable your area is. Things that influence scores are being in an area with a center or main street, being close to parks, restaurants, grocery stores, and many other things people go to. In my curiosity I then plugged in my address here in Seattle and it scored a 63 out of 100. I then plugged in every address I could think of. My hometown of Boise sadly was 0. I would have suspected as much though, Boise being extremely car-centric and very spread out. I read their website which basically describes the importance of walkability and they mention transit being important for walkable neighborhoods, however, they don’t use transit in their algorithm which they state is a flaw. Perhaps I would receive a 75-80 I am close to 4 bus lines. They show the importance of transit friendly, dense neighborhoods that help create happy neighborhoods and thriving businesses with plenty of foot traffic to keep them busy. Walking promotes social interaction, reduces C02, and helps promote good health in general. I realize this may be a utopia, but I think it is definitely able to be done. Interestingly, where I work in South Lake Union scored in the high 80’s if I remember correctly (I plugged a lot of addresses) I wonder if the streetcar shoots that up higher to 100 perhaps with a new algorithm? How does your neighborhood score? What might make it higher?

9 Replies to “Walkable Neighborhoods”

  1. This is pretty cool, my score was a lower 50, but I consider that too low. I am in a nice walkable area. I don’t agree that the scoring is accurate in terms of 50-70 could probably get by without a car. Their wording bothers me a little. Being carless is a mindset, trade off of sorts. There are good things and bad. Just like owning a car.

  2. Why would the SLU streetcar increase the walkability of the neighborhood? Transit doesn’t help a neighborhood’s walkability — if I can walk somewhere, I don’t need to take the bus; if I need to take the bus, it’s not walkable — though in tandem they’re certainly nice.

  3. transit usually leads to a higher concentration of residences and businesses (that want to be near the transit stop–e.g. look at the development near the light rail stations in the rainier area), which in turn leads to easier walking.

  4. My name is Zane Ewton with BUSRide magazine. I am working on a short article about the bus MySpace pages or blogs like the one you have. Are you available to speak with me today or tomorrow? Or if email is preferable, we can do that as well. i just want to get a feel for your experiences and the effects of your blog.


  5. DPA:

    True for some developing neighborhoods today, but others (i.e., my neighborhood in W. Ballard) has been zoned much the same for decades. The arrival of crosstown and downtown bus routes did nothing to spur development there — they’re merely incidental.

  6. 49. car-dependent. darn you aurora colorado? though you can walk more places than it seems on a good day

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