Is your city walkable?


A 2011 walkability comparison of the 2,500 largest communities in the United States was recently released by walkscore.com. Details on how this comprehensive database was formulated are available thorough this weblink.

For the 2,500 communities, the national average score was 43 with the highest (best) score being 92.2 achieved by both Hoboken and Union City, New Jersey and the lowest (worst) score of 6.2 being garnered by both Badger, Alaska and Rio Rico, Arizona.

The website also ranks neighborhoods for their walkability. Six scored a perfect 100 as a walker’s paradise. These are Little Italy, SoHo, Flatiron, Greenwich Village, and NoHo in New York City and Haymarket in Boston.

Below is a brief summary of the factors cited on walkscore.com that make a community or neighborhood walkable.

  • “A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it’s a main street or a public space.”
  • “People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.”
  • “Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.”
  • “Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.”
  • “Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.”
  • “Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.”
  • “Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.”

There are also a number of benefits from living in a walkable community. Those cited by walkscore.com include:

“Environment: Cars are a leading cause of climate change. Your feet are zero-pollution transportation machines.”

“Health: The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood.”

“Property Values: One point of Walk Score is worth up to $3,000 of value for your property.”

“Community Activities: Studies show that for every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%.”

Below are four lists derived from the walkscore.com website identifying the ten most walkable big cities, the ten least walkable big cities, the ten most walkable communities from the entire list, and the ten least walkable communities from the entire list.

America’s Most Walkable Big Cities – Source: walkscore.com

  1. New York City 85.3
  2. San Francisco 84.9
  3. Boston 79.2
  4. Chicago 74.3
  5. Philadelphia 74.1
  6. Seattle 73.7
  7. Washington, DC 73.2
  8. Miami 72.5
  9. Minneapolis 69.3
  10. Oakland 68.2

America’s Least Walkable Big Cities – Source: walkscore.com

  1. Jacksonville, FL 32.6
  2. Charlotte, NC 34.3
  3. Oklahoma City, OK 35.6
  4. Fort Worth, TX 36.1
  5. Nashville, TN 36.4
  6. Indianapolis, IN 37.4
  7. El Paso, TX 37.8
  8. Kansas City, MO 38.1
  9. Memphis, TN 39.4
  10. Louisville, KY 39.7

America’s Most Walkable Communities – Source: walkscore.com

  1. Hoboken, NJ 92.2
  2. Union City, NJ 92.2
  3. West New York, NJ 90.0
  4. West Hollywood, CA 89.4
  5. Cambridge, MA 88.8
  6. Albany, CA 85.7
  7. New York City, NY 85.3
  8. Jersey City, NJ 85.2
  9. San Francisco, CA 84.9
  10. Somerville, MA 84.3

America’s Least Walkable Communities  Source: walkscore.com

  1. Badger, AK 6.2
  2. Rio Rico, AZ 6.2
  3. The Acreage, FL 6.3
  4. Canyon Lake, TX 6.4
  5. Poinciana, FL 7.1
  6. Bella Vista, AZ 7.3
  7. Mead Valley, CA 7.8
  8. Pahump, NV 8.1
  9. Saratoga Springs, UT 9.0
  10. West Odessa, TX  9.2
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This entry was posted in Bicycling, cities, climate change, environment, health, land use, planning, transit, transportation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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