Tuesday, August 21, 2007

These boots are made for your neighborhood...

The head of the Sustainable Design Group in Columbus recently sent us this link to Walk Score, a web site intended to help people find walkable places to live (sponsored by the Sightline Institute). It's also been featured on the illustrious Book of Joe.

While their target audience might be home buyers, this website is actually incredibly interesting to reference for work, university, and/or favorite businesses (OK...not incredibly interesting...more like a cool interwidget that allows you to brag to your suburbanite cohorts).

One-Mile Walk in a Compact Neighborhood

A one-mile walk in Seattle's Phinney Ridge, takes you through a grid like street network with a mix of residences and businesses (shown in purple). Map courtesy of the Sightline Institute.

While I was quite proud our home in Columbus as it scored a 79 out of a possible 100, our LA, San Francisco and New York offices scored 91, 97 and 100's, respectively. Joe, however, scored a 9...but who needs to tell that guy about walking? He only walks about 5600 miles a day while blogging from his treadmill. Seriously.

One-Mile Walk in a Sprawling Suburb

A one-mile walk in Bellevue, WA with cul-de-sacs and winding streets has few shops and services within walking distance. Map courtesy of the Sightline Institute.

Ahh....to live in the metros of metro. Actually, put me within walking distance of Taco Mesa in Southern Orange County and I'm set on food and drink for life. A couple of fish tacos and a Negro Modelo, what more do you need?

How do you score?

90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.
25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.
0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!