01 October 2007

How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?

reposted from WalkScore and raysofraychelle

Why Walking Matters

Walkable neighborhoods offer surprising benefits to our health, the environment, and our communities.

Better health: A study in Washington State found that the average resident of a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood weighs 7 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood1. Residents of walkable neighborhoods drive less and suffer fewer car accidents, a leading cause of death between the ages of 15 - 45.
Reduction in greenhouse gas: Cars are a leading cause of global warming. Your feet are zero pollution transportation machines.
More transportation options: Compact neighborhoods tend to have higher population density, which leads to more public transportation options and bicycle infrastructure. Not only is taking the bus cheaper than driving, but riding a bus is ten times safer than driving a car2!
Increased social capital: Walking increases social capital by promoting face-to-face interaction with your neighbors. Studies have shown that for each 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10 percent3.
Stronger local businesses: Dense, walkable neighborhoods provide local businesses with the foot traffic they need to thrive. It's easier for pedestrians to shop at many stores on one trip, since they don't need to drive between destinations.

In July, my neighborhood had a Walk Score of 69 out of 100. I found stores and places that I never knew my neighborhood has. Then just now, in October, I retested my neighborhood's Walk Score and got a 71. A few new businesses sprouted on H street near my apartment.

This website is also useful when you're traveling. You can find out the nearest drugstore and grocery store then feel at home when you're there instead of always asking around where this or that is. If you're buying a new place, use this to decide if that's the kind of neighborhood you want to live in.

Just click on this URL below and feed in your address and check out your neighborhood!

Walk Score website

What’s your walkscore? Click on the arrows to see the drop down menu of more stores and places in your neighborhood.

this is my neighborhood :) (yes I live right across the street from Gallaudet!)


  1. Interesting. My neighborhood scored a 62, but as I looked at the stores and businesses nearby that they mentioned, most are those that I would never go to. Poor selection, lack of interest or taste, or cost would send me to different places father away.

    So while this concept is a good one, walking doesn't always bring us to the best businesses. It does help with fitness and socialization though.

    Cool reference anyway.

    ~ LaRonda

  2. I am proud to say my area's score is 89 out of 100. Great neighborhood to live in and I am blessed!

  3. mine is 54 out of 100. that is understandable. i live in a bedroom community. best score i found so far is west yellowstone, montana. 94 out of 100. it is a small touristy town. it has almost everything within a few blocks. my mom tiny hometown of 400 fares better than mine but i would not live there. no deaf social!

  4. That's funny that we are scoring our neighborhoods. People in Europe, Asia and Mexico walks much more than we do. We should be walking everywhere. I used to walk an hour every Saturdays and Sundays to work when I was younger.

  5. My neighborhood in Berkeley scores 92 out of 100. Berkeley seems to be one of the most environmentally conscious and active cities in the U.S. I agree with what LaRonda said, where I go depends on what I need, and though I make some effort to support local businesses, a lot of them charge prices higher than what I would get at Trader Joe's, Safeway, Target, or Walmart, none of which are walkable from my home.

    My consolation is that there are tons of great restos nearby to excite the palate, and that the SF Bay Area has a decent public transport system.

  6. I live in Arlandia area of Alexandria in Virginia and it scores 75 out of 100.
    BONUS: There is an organic grocery market a block down from my apartment.

    Unfortunately, just because they are walkable doesn't mean it is safe to walk, especially at nighttime.

    That is one thing I regret about this neighborhood-- so much potential yet this area is rickety with poverty and lousy housing standards pulling down the potential.

    This neighborhood is definitely my ideal area-- accessible to everything I need for food and shopping (excluded the metro, which we have to rely on sparse and tardy buses), but I will like to have a big spacious apartment or a house to call "home" but alas, that luxury comes with a higher price tag.

    It is hard to be green!

  7. that's very true about the safety and poor selection of stores in the neighborhoods... it's interesting how we spend so much money on making roads and traffic lights but not on making a community walkable and safe. shows our priorities.

    for some reason, i feel more safer when i bike. i feel i can outrun anyone!

    fyi, the walkable neighborhood website also says that they currently don't take into account small trails between streets, e.g. parks, or a lake. they measure miles using roads or geographical distances, period. so a store might be impossible to reach because there's a river in between- and you'd have to walk all the way up north or south to cross a footbridge, etc. that website needs a lot of improvement that's fosho! :)

    meanwhile, keep pushing for more walkable neighborhoods!


  8. My walk score is just 20 so as you see my present neighborhood is not very walkable. This service can be especially useful for those who are going to buy a house cause it can help to estimate a particular location. But how often do we walk nowadays? I ve found one more service called drive score at http://drivescore.fizber.com/ With it one can see how close establishments are by car. Homes are often located in an area where restaurants, libraries, grocery stores, hospitals and other businesses are easier to get to by car than on foot.

  9. Ha-ha-ha...I really liked this! I spend almost 4 hours checking drivescore for addresses of all my friend and relatives. Mine is not the worst at http://drivescore.fizber.com/