Make Walk Score Better

Our recent post on the ‘Street Smart’ Walk Score brought lots of comments about issues with the quality of the ‘places’ used to computer the rankings.

Well, now Walk Score has a tool to add and remove places.

2 responses to “Make Walk Score Better”

  1. I was shocked to see that my house in Woodstock went from a 64 (Somewhat Walkable) to a 48 (Car Dependent) with the new system. We just bought the house, and we would certainly not have bought a house in a “car dependent” neighborhood–in fact, we bought it precisely because we can walk to the Safeway, library, etc., on Woodstock, as well as several parks and schools, all within 10-15 minutes. For some reason the new Street Smart version failed to recognize that Woodstock Park is just .5 miles from our house, that we have a Safeway and a whole bunch of other amenities nearby at the Woodstock Super Center, etc.

    So, I wrote to Walkscore. And I found that they were extremely responsive and sincere in how they treated my comments. They recognize there is a problem with how quickly scores can drop off–as though someone living just a block away from me lives in a “walkable” area, but folks on my block are forced to jump in their cars for nearly every errand. That’s simply not the case. We know that we don’t live in a “Walker’s Paradise”, but feel that our neck of the neighborhood (which is eastern Woodstock) deserves some credit for being flat, having high intersection density, and having safe crossings at 52nd. Anyway, they seemed to treat it seriously and said they would review how the algorithms work.

    A very decent company, all told. I still need to add and remove some places, but my score has now inched up to 49. “Somewhat Walkable,” here we come! :)

  2. Oh, one more thing–one of the reasons it screws up with parks is that for some reason it thinks that you can only enter through the “official” address of the park (as Google Maps records it). Thus, Woodstock City Park’s address is roughly 47th and Steele Street, even though of course you can enter it from any direction (there are no fences). This is something they will really need to resolve.

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