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Seeking walkable neighborhood anywhere? Good study.
Old 01-10-2008, 10:26 AM   #1
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Seeking walkable neighborhood anywhere? Good study.

I found this awhile ago in the Wall St. Journal, and just punched it in this morning. This is from a mapped study of communities nationwide and is based on how many businesses, parks, schools, ad other common distances are within walking distance of any starting point. Heck, I even put in the area I live in now in a city of about 40K--and it came up accurately! Wow!
So, if you are seeking to move to an area--and desire a walkable neighborhood--this study is for you:

walkscore.com
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:56 AM   #2
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This is so cool! I definitely want to retire to a walkable neighborhood and ruled out some entire communities due to the scarcity of walkable neighborhoods. I don't especially enjoy driving, and walking is wonderful and needed exercise, so that sounds good to me. Besides, who wants to drive when they are old if they don't have to?

I put in my present address, and found its score was 45. I put in an address in the neighborhood I have in mind for ER in Missouri, and its score was 59! That is great, since I feel my present neighborhood is quite walkable.

Too bad it doesn't search for walkable neighborhoods for you - - you have to put in an address to get results.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:59 AM   #3
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Well, I am in a pretty difficult to walk area as no sidewalks. People jog thru here, but it is concrete, and walk while they dodge traffic from the rather wider than average street. So much for pricey neighborhoods...bleeech!
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:54 AM   #4
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I put in the place in Houston we use to live Score 52. I put in the place we moved to Score 0. Yet we now walk 2 to 3 miles through wooded golf course, and neighborhood surrounded by a lake. You can actually breath the air rather than slice it. But the score is accurate there are no stores within a 10 mile radius. My guess is no real rural location would score very high. However, this being said, it is a nice site.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:11 PM   #5
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That is pretty neat. There are a couple of flaws. I think someone in my neighborhood has a catering business, so I get points for a restaurant being .25 miles away, when there really isn't one. Likewise there is a supposed movie theater called "Shop512.com" (512 is the area code) that certainly isn't one. And they measure the distance to the grocery store (which they list twice) as .46 miles, but that must be as the crow flies, as it's really about a mile unless I scale a wooden privacy fence.

Still, I got a 66, pretty good for a suburban neighborhood, and I really do walk to quite a few places, and my daughter is able to walk to her schools when she stays with me.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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I put in the place in Houston we use to live Score 52. I put in the place we moved to Score 0. Yet we now walk 2 to 3 miles through wooded golf course, and neighborhood surrounded by a lake. You can actually breath the air rather than slice it. But the score is accurate there are no stores within a 10 mile radius. My guess is no real rural location would score very high. However, this being said, it is a nice site.
Right! I think their definition of a walkable neighborhood is not one where it is just pleasant to walk (too difficult to quantify), but one in which there are a variety of businesses within walking distance so that you don't have to drive unless you want to. Big difference.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:19 PM   #7
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Mine is 92. Actually, I couldn't imagine a better walkable neighborhood so IMO it should be 100. The key is that everything needed is nearby, but also no more than a 30 minute walk is downtown, and 2 large Universities and one community college. One would only need a car for timely travel to points other than downtown or a few major emplyers who are served by good bus routes.

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Old 01-10-2008, 12:32 PM   #8
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I'm surprised. The above site works for Canada too. My area only got 20 out of 100. Anyhow, I gave up walking outside a couple of years ago. I wasn't sure what was going to do me in first, the cars or the dogs. Now, I do mall walking, Monday thru Friday for about forty minutes, and think it's great.
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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haha, do you live innercity Seattle or do you not care to divulge such precious information? Sounds as if you live in an ideal area...expensive or not.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:10 PM   #10
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My address gets a 72. Yes, I can walk to stores, and I can walk to the boardwalk along lake superior. In the summer it is a highly walkable neighborhood. In winter I fell like I am in prison.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
That is pretty neat. There are a couple of flaws. I think someone in my neighborhood has a catering business, so I get points for a restaurant being .25 miles away, when there really isn't one. Likewise there is a supposed movie theater called "Shop512.com" (512 is the area code) that certainly isn't one. And they measure the distance to the grocery store (which they list twice) as .46 miles, but that must be as the crow flies, as it's really about a mile unless I scale a wooden privacy fence.
Definitely 'crow flies'.

There are many places within 2 miles, but many of those are in a shopping mall on the other side of a creek and a 3-lane interstate (3 each way; I guess that's 6 lanes?).
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:30 PM   #12
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Definitely broken. It claims I have to walk 5.2km to grocery when I have a Whole Foods across the street and an regular grocery store about 500 meters further. Library is 1.47km away but we get a bookmobile weekly and they take special orders online.

No liquor store - must be built in the US! We have two wine specialty stores in 500 meters. Where are the banks? The only thing we don't have in a cinema but the video rental store is 250 meters away. But we have a bus stop right at our door. Downtown in 10 minutes for lots of other walkable destinations.

When they get it fixed, it might be helpful. We chose this place because it is the most walkable place we could find. Many neighbours do not even own cars.

Walk Score - Helping homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods.#
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:32 PM   #13
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My idea of a walkable area is what are my chances of getting mugged or not
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:58 PM   #14
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My neighborhood got a 49 which I can not see at all .The only possible place you could walk to is our favorite Seafood restaurant and the post office .The next move I make will definetely be to a more walkable area.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:59 PM   #15
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83 and my score would even be higher if it included my 30 second walk to my job. This is really neat; I have a score of 3 for the place we moved from 14 months ago; and I have a score of 95 for where I used to live and where my sister still resides.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:59 PM   #16
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Okay.... I have a low score of 17, and that's being optimistic. Is 7-11 really a grocery store? They count it as one. Someone in the neighborhood has a part time day care, they count that as a school.

Without a car, one is just about paralyzed here, although I know one fellow up the road who apparently gets by with a motor scooter.
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:01 PM   #17
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This was fun, and I found a few things I didn't know existed. Got a 63.

That said, the picture is somewhat, ahem, selective. They got the groceries, restaurants, and parks, alright, but missed the smokeshop on the corner and left out the Section 8 apartments down the street.

The homeless souls IN the park somehow escaped notice also.

I'll walk anywhere around here during the day, but I'm a lot more cautious after dark. Still, that's true in almost any metropolitan area.

All-in-all, this seems like a good way to narrow your targets down prior to the necessary on-the-ground assessment.
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:46 PM   #18
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As I posted, I think it is an interesting gimmick, but totally worthless for 'narrowing' ones choices. My previous neighborhood was in the middle Houston. I don't know anyone that would walk the .5 to 1 mile to the grocery store in the summer, or the winter for that matter. In fact I can't see walking anywhere in Houston to shop anytime of the year. Yet I'll bet I can find some addresses that would get very high scores.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:48 PM   #19
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Neat site, I got a 78.
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Great idea, but it's totally inaccurate!
Old 01-11-2008, 12:38 AM   #20
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Great idea, but it's totally inaccurate!

I live in an area renowned for its walkability. It's an older suburb with tree lined boulevards and footpaths. A myriad of neighbourhood stores and services are less than two blocks away. There is a major city park within 20 minutes walk. It's safe at night. But it scored only 27.

This is an interesting use of data linkage with Google. Basically, it's only as accurate as the data for your area. Presumably that includes business licences. I'm surprised Google hasn't factored in footpaths, because they are visible on the aerial photos, which were taken in spring before the foliage would hide them.

Perhaps kcowan and I are not getting accurate results because we live in Canada?
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