Monday, August 13, 2007

What's Your Walk Score?

Quantum of Wantum found a site that calculates how walkable your address is.

My house got a walk score of 69 out of 100 -- not bad, but not great. If I lived in Southside, my score would have been 88. If I lived in New Irving Park in Greensboro, it would have been 14.

Its algorithm works by calculating how many things like stores, coffee shops, libraries etc. are near your house, but I don't think it knows if there are actual sidewalks between you and them.

One nice feature -- it showed me things near me that I can walk to that I didn't even know about!

Update: since Jason Hardin linked me in this morning's Fast Forward, I've moved this post to the top of the heap. Welcome, N&R readers!

11 comments:

Kim said...

That's pretty neat, except not overly accurate with my parents address. They missed the entire school district and, instead, named a school that's in a different district, it missed several restaurants, it missed one of the drug stores, it missed the massage therapy places and the hair styling places, it missed a few bars, it missed all the places of worship...it missed a lot! Had it not missed almost everything, I think the score would have been at least 95 percent, but as it is it only got 60.

It was accurate with MY address however. My address got 0/100. Grrrr. :-/

David Wharton said...

Did you click the little pull-downs for each category? The list on the left only shows the nearest school, theater, etc., but if you click it it will show all of them.

But it's only as accurate as the Google data, and I don't think that's very accurate (so far).

But I think this kind of thing will only get more accuate in the future.

Kim said...

Yeah, I did use the pulldown menu but my old school isn't listed even though it's about a 3 minute walk from my parents house and the school has been there since 1955, and before that the current middle school, which is on the same campus and right next door to the high school, was the high school. Weird. Using the pulldown menu did bring up some more bars, but it still missed a few...I wish there was a way to email them! Oh well, still a neat site.

Eric said...

I live on Wright Ave. in Sunset Hills and got a score of 66. We've got a grocery, resturant, bar and elementary school all within 1/2 mile. What more do you need.

Dawn said...

My score makes no sense. I live in Westerwood, almost exactly half way between Friendly Center and Downtown Greensboro, which means that I live within 1 1/2 miles of EVERYTHING. My husband & I can (and regularly do) walk to baseball games (Grasshoppers AND UNCG Spartans), two movie theaters (three if you count the Carolina Theater downtown) and literally dozens of restaurants. And I got a 46?!
What the heck?

David Wharton said...

I don't know exactly how their algorithm works.

But I think to score high, you need lots of services 1/2 mile or closer.

Jeff Sovich said...

Another problem with this program seems to be that it measures straight line distances between locations, not the actual distance one would have to walk along a sidewalk, trail, or (in the case of many Greensboro neighborhoods) in the street.

Great concept, but needs refinement in the execution.

Dawn said...

"...services 1/2 mile or closer."

Oh. I guess their idea of walking distance and mine are somewhat different. To me, 1-1/2 miles is just a "good stretch of the legs".

David Wharton said...

I'm with you on that, Dawn, but I've heard that studies show most people are unwilling to walk more than 300 feet to go to stores, etc.

I doubt that that stat applies to big city dwellers, though.

Kim said...

Hmmm...even if it's 1/2 mile or closer they still messed up on my parents house. They think that a school, built in the 70's, that is 4 miles away and with no sidewalks leading to it, is closer to my parents house than my old school, which has sidewalks all the way there, takes exactly 2 minutes to walk to, and was built in the 50's. :-o

Dasha said...

I believe that walk score is cool, but nowadays more and more people prefer to drive cars. Homes are often located in an area where some establishments are easier to get to by car than on foot. I've recently found a type of service on drivescore.fizber.com which is called Drive Score. It shows a map of what establishments are in your neighborhood and calculates a Drive Score based on the number of places within a convenient driving distance. It doesn’t mean that drive score is better than walk score – they are equal and both necessary in the modern world!