Web Find: Walk Score
I love Walk Score. Here’s why. It will map out and list all the amenities—restaurants, grocery stores, schools, parks, hardware stores, movie theaters, and more—within walking distance of over 2,500 neighborhoods in North America. Click on a city and see a color-coded visual of its walkability. Type in an address for a specific neighborhood’s Walk Score in map or satellite view. It’s instant and free.
For the example, posted here, I typed in the address for The White House. The prez should feel very good about his neighborhood: it scored 86 out of 100 points—a top score, not that he gets to walk anywhere.
For the rest of us, it’s a wonderful tool for checking out where we live (my neighborhood scored 95—woohoo!), where we’d like to live, and where we visit.
Walkable communities promote a healthier lifestyle, are more social, are good for business, and offer environmental benefits by reducing auto emissions. In addition to pedestrians, they tend to have more bicyclists and good public transportation systems.
Walk Score lists the 40 most walkable U.S. cities—New York and San Francisco lead the pack—and many other resources, including a frank discussion of its limitations. For example, distances are calculated "as the crow flies," meaning that it doesn’t take obstacles such as freeways and bodies of water into account.
The LEED Green Building Rating System promotes walkable neighborhoods through SSc2 Development Density and Community Connectivity. Walk Score should help with the documentation for compliance option 2.