Too often our society seems to overlook one of our most important modes of transportation- our own two legs. A new website, Walk Score, aims to change our dependence back to our own legs for personal mobility and seeks to help homebuyers find homes with many destinations within walking distance.

The premise is simple, you enter an address and the system characterizes the neighborhood on a 0-100 scale based on how many destinations are within a reasonable (less than 1 mile) walking distance. Essentially any ranking below 25 is is impossible to walk around while scores above 90 signify dense easily accessible neighborhoods. The website takes schools, restaurants, grocery stores, shops, parks, and libraries among other items into consideration when calculating the neighborhoods walk score.

Walk score allows people to quickly find homes in areas where car ownership let alone full dependence on a vehicle is not a requirement. In playing around with the program for a little while you’ll quickly see the disparity between automobile based/designed sprawl areas and true urban neighborhoods. The importance of walking to destinations daily cannot be emphasized enough from a planning perspective or as new research shows as a matter of your health.

President Bush’s Crawford Ranch somehow attained the dubious zero rating. Let us know how your neighborhood compares…

8 Responses to Let’s go for a Walk

  1. C.L. Jahn says:

    I have a score of 72 in Coral Gables.

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  2. Dave says:

    My South Miami address got a nice 88 out of 100 score. Tough to beat in South Florida.

    I tried a South Beach address (Lincoln Rd & Alton Rd) and got 89 out of 100. Lincoln Road and Collins Ave got an 88.

    I tried a downtown address (500 Brickell Ave) and got an 86.

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  3. Michelle says:

    My church in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale scored a 92. It’s so nice to walk to Las Olas for Sunday Brunch!! Then I get back in my car, and drive to Sunrise (score 38). I dream of the day when I can finally move downtown…

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  4. Anonymous says:

    What a cool website! I was disappointed to see that my parents’ house, in Surfside, had a relatively low score (58) in what’s generally considered a very walkable neighborhood. Part of the reason why the score is so low is that the local movie theater and hardware store both closed in the past few years, in the face of competition from a new cineplex in South Beach and a Home Depot in North Miami. It’s sad to see a vibrant neighborhood become less walkable…I wonder what the overall trend is in S. Fla. neighborhoods.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    My apartment in Philadelphia gets a 98! Any 99’ers out there?

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  6. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    My Temporary home scores an abysmal 42! Which is kind of what I expected given that the complex has a nearly half mile long entrance of nothingness… The neighborhood I would prefer to live in has a score of 88…

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  7. Ryan Sharp says:

    I scored an 88 in my Coconut Grove neighborhood and an 89 in my Brooklyn neighborhood - a virtual dead heat. This is where the shortcomings of WalkScore become very apparent. Taking into account urban design, street width and connectivity, proximity/prevelance of transit, barriers, and other characteristics is really critical to getting the most accurate score. Walking five blocks, even in the most pedestrian-oriented parts of the Grove, seems much longer and much less pleasant than walking five blocks in Clinton Hill, BK. Plus, I could see how this could especially be skewed in Miami, given the grid set up with commerical arterials every 5-10 east-west streets and roughly every 8 N-S streets; many people are bound to live within 0.5 miles of at least one or two of these commerical strips, but that certainly doesn’t make it pleasant or even feasible to walk.

    With all that negativity, WalkScore does serves a valuable purpose for the average person looking to live within close proximity to many businesses and urban amenities, which usually implies higher densities and thus more walkable environments. It’s definitely an important step in the right direction - there is such a tremendous imbalance when it comes to online media promoting driving (e.g. mapquest, google maps, yahoo maps, etc) versus walking.

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  8. Mousee says:

    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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