Thursday, May 30, 2013

Walkscore ‘neighborhood pages’

With its “neighborhood pages,” announced this week, has assembled “all of our quantitative data about transportation and places with tens of thousands of photos and comments.”

Walkscore badge: 52
Umm ... No.
The move only makes sense and will hopefully compensate for misrepresentations that rely on walking scores alone.

Case in point: our family moved from a rural community to a metropolitan area. If its walking score accounted for a greater proximity of bike trails and public transportation, our new place easily rates a 95, where most daily errands do not require a car.

Instead, Walkscore rated it 52, only “Somewhat walkable.”

Even though our past residence, “very walkable” at 75, was close to a few businesses, a post office and library, it was geographically distant from employment centers. People had to commute by car or rely on public transit that ran every 2.5 hours. Bicycle commuting was not feasible.

In our new community, again supposedly a “52,” we are less than 500 feet from a central bus line that runs every half-hour to 20 minutes. A bicycle path is only a few blocks away and connects us to a central downtown where major roads have dedicated bike lanes and connector streets have “sharrow” shared-roadway markings.

Acquiring a bike score for our community would require city planners to contact Walk Score. As of Dec. 12, bike score data was available for only 25 U.S. cities.

Neighborhood pages, according to, assemble Walk Score ratings and heatmaps for more than 10,000 neighborhoods, Restaurant “ChoiceMaps” for more than 10,000 neighborhoods, Transit Score ratings and transit maps for more than 3,000 neighborhoods, Bike Score ratings for more than 5,000 neighborhoods and photos of almost 2,000 neighborhoods.

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