Monday, June 15, 2009

WalkScore Portland

Have you ever been to

WalkScore provides a 'walkability' index based on most any address you give it. From the creators:

Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking.

Here are my results:
97 out of 100! Not too shabby. I would agree with WalkScore in saying that the peninsula of Portland is a 'walker's paradise.'

Just to compare a few other local locations, Unum on outer Congress Street (where I work) earns a 32% and the Portland Transportation Center (where you catch the Amtrak and Concord Coach Bus) gets a 49%.

This is a great tool to use when checking out potential places to live or when writing blog posts about living car-free. It is not a perfect system, though. The WalkScore 'places' (the things you would walk to, such as grocery stores and schools) depend on Google map data and user input. Some of the listings may be out of date, but for the most part are accurate. As they state on the site, it measures the walkability and not 'how pretty the area is for walking.' Certainly a neighborhood could have a great WalkScore and also be in a crime-ridden arctic tundra where all of the buildings are built in the brutalist style. You can use your own judgement there.

For my own results, Paul's food mart on Congress Street is within easy walking distance but I chose to travel to Hannaford or Shaw's for my groceries. Still, it's a good system and I enjoy comparing different parts of the city to each other.

What's your WalkScore? Do you agree with the results? (You don't have to share a link, just the score).

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