Walking is a great mode of transportation: you get some exercise, it’s gentle to the planet and you put yourself out in your neighborhood where you can meet your neighbors, enjoy the weather and have those pleasant little surprises that go by too fast when you only see the world out car windows.
It can be hard to commit to a walking lifestyle, and to do it safely. Especially with kids. This week we saw the tragic case of a mom who was tried for vehicular homicide after her child was killed crossing the street.
Today, HuffPo offers up a list of the most, and least, walkable cities in America.
New York steals the crown from San Francisco in this year’s rankings of most walkable cities. New census data show some previously industrialized neighborhoods in NYC have become more pedestrian friendly over the past 10 years, making it the best major U.S. city to walk in. My home city, Boston, comes in at number 3.
The rankings are coming from an interesting site called WalkScore that rates locations on a 100 point scale for walkability. As they say, they’re not interested in how pretty your neighborhood stroll will be. Instead they want to know how practical it is:
Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking.
Walk Score uses a patent-pending system to measure the walkability of an address. The Walk Score algorithm awards points based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within .25 miles receive maximum points and no points are awarded for amenities further than one mile.
At their website, you can plug your address in and get a score for your neighborhood. How walk-friendly is the place you live? They also have a sister site that offers a Transit Score for public transit access. My neighborhood scores 95 on the Walk Score and 71 on Transit Score. Which is about what I’d expect. I live in a highly walkable neighborhood, with good but not perfect public transit.
How does your neighborhood fare?