Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just what is Walkable?

Walk score is a website that made the planning rounds when it was introduced a few years ago and despite its oversimplisticness, has been at least a decent tool for determining how decent neighborhoods are at achieving a car alternative. They have added a new feature that gauges transit. How it works, I don't know, but I wanted to post the transit link for two reasons. The first, illustrates just how poor Dallas ranks. Here's the top 10.

Portland, OR (Transit Score: 50)
Baltimore, MD (57)
Miami, FL (57)
Seattle, WA (59)
Chicago, IL (65)
Philadelphia, PA (68)
Washington, D.C. (69)
Boston, MA (74)
San Francisco, CA (80)
New York, NY (81)

Dallas has a score of 39. The heat map, found here, is pretty clear, transit and walking are very hard in Dallas.

The second reason I post this is that when playing around with the heat maps, I found again just how goofy stats can be. For example, the Oak Lawn area includes Uptown (highly walkable), Oak Lawn, very walkable) and an area west of the tollway (unwalkable). By combining all three, they have made a mediocre walkable score.

Of course, this also goes with its main detraction, that being near things isn't always walkable. If I lived on one side of the street and everything was across an intersection with 7 lanes and a median on both roadways, I may want to reconsider walking. Cedar Springs from two posts ago is another example.

Anyway, have fun with the time-wasting map!

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