There’s an interesting new Google Maps Mashup called Walk Score that looks at how far it is from any given address to key services like a grocery store, drugstore, schools, parks, etc. and computes a walkability score.
Mine was 95 out of 100 :-)
Note that the site has had some problems with heavy traffic (Google limits how many visitors per day on their free maps). It’s up as I write. If it’s not when you check, try the next morning.
7 responses to “How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?”
My current Kerns address scored higher than my old Goose Hollow location – which had a closer supermarket, corner groceries and fast food downstairs, a school, max stop and church within one block, and two bars within a block and a half. My Goose Hollow digs were way more walkable (i rarely even used my bike) than Kerns, so i think these rankings are somewhat dubious.
Meanwhile, my friends address on NW 23rd and Burnside ranked in the low thirties.
My address in NE Portland scored a 78, but we don’t consider it quite so walkable… this map is a great idea but suffers from an early implementation — I hope they can refine it.
1. We are actually very close to transit, but the map currently does not consider transit. This should have boosted our score, but didn’t.
2. The specific problem with our address is that although there are a lot of things within 1/2 mile, almost everything is all the way at the edge of that 1/2 mile. There are few useful 1/4 mile destinations. This map may give too much weight to items at the periphery.
3. To get to many of the destinations, you have to cross a freeway overpass. Functional, but not pleasant. They should try to attach a qualitative score to things like that.
4. The map is only as good as Google’s local business database, which is spotty. We scored high because a small, nearby Mexican restaurant was classified as a grocery store, while the truth is that a Fred Meyer is the only walkable full-service grocery store, it is at the 1/2 mile edge (and across the freeway), and is only classified as a pharmacy.
5. The nearby school is officially closed.
Personally I would rank our address between 60 and 70 — better than most, but not entirely pleasant for walking. On the other hand, if you have a dog, our proximity to the dog park is very good – give yourself 10 points. :-)
– Bob R.
My Cedar Mill “neighborhood” got a 35 score, which is probably high. Sure there are some shops .75 miles away but the steep hills and lack of sidewalks need to be factored in. Anyways, this is an interesting mashup.
My place (in north Montavilla) got a 49. That sounds about right. I’m at least eight blocks from anything worth walking to.
My neighborhood in San Francisco got an 85. I thought it would be better than that but it doesn’t really take into account the pedestrian acceleration of the J Church line which is a block from my house.
I am 4 blocks from the Orenco Station MAX stop and I got a 26, which is hilariously and absurdly low IMHO. Some things were missing (for example there are at least 4 parks closer than the park they listed 0.59 miles away), they didn’t account for transit, and they don’t account for the ease of getting around (all side streets, no highways in between). Yeah I know I’m in the suburbs so I’ll never get an 85 or a 95, but it’s kind of a gut punch to get such a pathetic score when we purposely chose what we thought was a very walkable area, and the most walkable area in Washington County.
A wonderful 28 in LO. Precisely the reason I’m moving. It probably is worse than 28 but the map doesn’t seem to take extreme hills into account.