Monday, May 12, 2008

What’s Your Walk Score?

Over at Atrios folks are discussing “walk scores” today. A “walk score” is an assessment of how walkable your neighborhood is, based on walking distance to amenities like post offices, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. You can calculate yours here.

Mine is 46, which strikes me as awfully low. I always thought we lived in a fairly walkable neighborhood--I live less than a mile from the Green Hills Mall, which means technically we could walk to all sorts of wonderful amenities. But the truth is, other than walking to the post office and Starbucks, we rarely walk anywhere. It’s hotter than Hades here in the summer, or else it’s rainy in the spring and winter. Mostly, old habits die hard.

The city has constructed new sidewalks all through Green Hills, including a wonderful new sidewalk on Graybar, which makes walking from Belmont to Hillsboro much safer and more doable. But there are still all sorts of bizarre obstructions to walking. The cross walk at Hillsboro and Glen Echo is insane. Depending on one’s destination, they might have to walk through parking lots or climb through landscaping separating different retail establishments. I tried walking down Crestmoor once and got stopped by a freaking hedge planted where a sidwalk used to be. Cripes.

This city is definitely getting better, but it’s not nearly as walkable as it could be. Which is a shame because with gas pushing $4/gallon, walking is looking like a better and better idea.