Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Walkable Neighborhoods

Along with many other people, I am growing in my social and environmental responsibility these days, and have been trying to personally make some appropriate lifestyle changes. We've all heard the call - avoid bottled water, use public transportation, buy fair trade products, bring your own reusable bag to use at the grocery store, etc. I also believe in the under-appreciated thrift store, but more thoughts on that later.

Here's a new discovery of mine: Walk Score. This site calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. My house scored a respectable 83, which the site ranks as "Very Walkable: it is possible to get by without owning a car." Within a 1-mile radius, I can walk to Ralph's, Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the movie theater, Rite Aid, various parks, tons of eateries, and lots of other places.

Obviously the real question is do I actually walk to these places? That might mean making conscious changes, such as forgoing Trader Joe's (which I adore), and shopping at the nearby Superior instead. But if the benefits include better physical health, reduction in pollution, more interaction with my neighborhood, and stronger local businesses, then let's walk!

What's your Walk Score?

6 comments:

  1. My walk score is 63. Not too shabby. Although it's a bit far for the stores and restaurants we really like, we've done it and hopefully will again anyway.

    :) Especially since they are putting in a Coldstones - 3miles away, but then you burn some of it off at least. hehe

    I hope you are doing well and had a good weekend.

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  2. I bet I have the lowest! 0! The nearest town is Clearwater, 2.5 miles away. Although my brother and I used to walk in to go to the pool or the library all the time. And I still ride my bike into town when I can.

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  3. My walk score is 51, but I can think of about 15 restuarants and 5 coffee shops within 10 blocks of me that the website does not list. I think my score should be quite a bit higher.

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  4. 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
    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!

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  5. I've visited Drive score and now I find it really convinient tool. I've also found on Fizber.com a service Climate.fizber.com which allows homebuyers to check what the climate is like in another town or city all year round before they move there. That's cool!

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