Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Walkscore

I found this quiz at Karina's Ruminations of an Aspiring Ecologist. The Walk Score quiz takes your address, comes up with how close you are to grocery stores, hardware stores, schools, restaurants, etcetera, and comes up with a number rating based on walkability. It doesn't always show the correct location for everything, it misses a few things, and sometimes shows things that are closed.

For our little house in the Nevada outback, I get a score of 74 - very walkable. It says we have a grocery store within 0.69 miles, though I haven't heard of that particular one - the one we use is 1.25 miles away, a bit farther than I like to walk for groceries. We do have numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars (and a couple casinos) within 0.15 miles, two drug stores within 0.15 miles, a park, a school, and miscellaneous stores - clothing, video, electronics, gift stores, and a pawn shop - within 0.3 miles. I'm also very close to the library (0.3 miles) and the one-movie theatre (0.5 miles). The hardware stores are farther than I'd walk to unless I was just out for a walk and dropped in, at 1 to 2 miles away. I was surprised to find that we are virtually next door to a coffee shop or espresso house that is probably half-way across town (1 mile?), if it even exists with the name they gave. It definitely isn't next door!

It doesn't list several of the very close-by restaurants or bars, possibly because they are inside hotels, and it lists a few things that I'll have to check out, and at least a couple that aren't open currently. It doesn't list how close I am to the red-light district, which is definitely within walking distance but not of interest to me (this could be a selling point for some Nevadans or passers-through staying at nearby motels). Actually - now that I look again - it does show the red-light district: one adult bookstore I'd never heard of and one "ranch" listed under bars.

For our home at the lake I get a walk score of 15 - car-dependent. For sure! Our house is within walking distance of two restaurants (one closed), one coffee shop, a couple real estate outfits, and a defunct gas station selling sundries. The closest grocery store is almost 2 miles away; the one we use is almost 8 miles away. It doesn't list the nearby coffee shop that is sometimes closed in winter, nor does it list the restaurant that is open or the old gas station that has a few groceries. They are within 0.1 to 0.3 miles and would raise the walkability a little, perhaps. It doesn't list the fact that we are within walking distance of voting, the fire house, a heating repair outfit, one or two jewelry shops, and a boat storage and repair place. (It also doesn't list the nearby beach and picnic area or the boat ramp - we walk to the boat ramp for the view.) It does list a school, which is a tiny charter or private school within 0.15 miles. Most stores and all gas stations are 7 to 8 miles away, so we drive, and although one could consider some kind of mo-ped, I wouldn't use one on a two-lane, 55 mph highway with curves, hills, and trees. (MOH will use his motorcycle to get groceries - it's at the other place now, though.)

What's your score?

2 comments:

Perry said...

What about a bike score? Although it's hard to carry two weeks worth of groceries even with a big backpack...

Silver Fox said...

So, what would your bike score be?