Friday, March 23, 2012

Walk Score

Since we don't own a car, finding alternative ways to get around has become more important. We bike. We walk. We take public transit. We've been car-free now for more than a year and a half. We love it! It's hardly been much of an inconvenience at all.

We're planning on moving this summer. We're not sure exactly where to yet, but we've narrowed down some options.

In doing some research, we stumbled upon this website: Walk Score. Drive Less. Live More.

It is such a neat, extensive, helpful website!

Here is a little info from the site on just how the walkability of a neighborhood is determined:
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
  • A center: 
  • Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
  • People: 
  • Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: 
  • Affordable housing located near businesses.
  • Parks and public space: 
  • Plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian design: 
  • Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
  • Schools and workplaces: 
  • Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
  • Complete streets: 
  • Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.

And...why does this matter? What are the benefits of living in a walk-able neighborhood?
Walkability offers surprising benefits to our health, the environment, our finances, and our communities.
Health: The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood.1
Cities with good public transit and access to amenities promote happiness.2
Environment: 82% of CO2 emissions are from burning fossil fuels.3 Your feet are zero-pollution transportation machines.
Finances: Cars are the second largest household expense in the U.S.4 One point of Walk Score is worth up to $3,000 of value for your property.5 Read the research report.
Communities: Studies show that for every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%.6

Here's a look at our current neighborhood. Not bad. Not great. It is the 6th most walkable neighborhood in St Paul.

There are so many great features to this site. I think I'll do another post(s) in the future.

In the meantime, what's your Walk Score?

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  1. I really wish where we lived was more walkable. We try to carpool as much as possible, but it would be great to just walk and get in some exercise.

    1. I love living where it's walkable. So very convenient...and healthy...