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How walkable is your neighborhood? Try Walk Score

Original post made by Angela Hey, Mountain View Voice Blogger, on Apr 21, 2009

At tonight's WebMapSocial Meetup group, Josh Livni of [Web Link Umbrella Consulting] spoke about a Seattle client, Walk Score ([Web Link]).

Type in your address and you can find out how far it is to walk to nearby attractions. I typed in the Voice office on Evelyn Street and found it had a score of 86 out of 100. Google's head office, where the meeting was held, is further from amenities and had a score of 68.

If you are moving to a new neighorhood, going to college or planning a vacation you can find out if the place is walkable with Walk Score. The most walkable place in the US is San Francisco's Chinatown, being very compact (Map Source: Walk Score). The software uses Google's Map interfaces and census tract data to build a heat map. If a map region is red, it's not very walkable, if it's green you might manage without a car.

The next WebMapSocial meeting in June will feature a speaker from the Midwest talking about how dairy farmers can save the planet!

Comments (2)

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Posted by Catherine Burton
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2009 at 10:10 am

Thanks for the press Angela. Please join us anytime: Web Link. Catherine Burton, Lead Organizer

Like this comment
Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Jackson Park
on Dec 23, 2010 at 2:10 am

An interesting and welcome project.

So how about walking just down the street from the Mountain View office on Evelyn to the Castro Street Caltrain crossing. The project there is taking shape. They are putting in fences to funnel all sidewalk traffic through four yellow steel manually operated gates that appear to be about 30 inches wide when opened. Handicapped access to the VTA light rail station is apparently cut off from the downtown Mountain View side, people with baby carriages may be able to open the gate by backing through it, but some won't. Walking bikes will be tight. The intention seems to be to limit to one person at a time on the tracks since the gate bottleneck is the only opening going both ways.

It's not clear why the opening is so narrow and why there is a gate at all. The gate has a big sign, of course telling us it will cost $271 to cross when the overhead gate and lights are operating. But it's illegal now. Crossing there is not infrequent, the pedestrian traffic is fairly high especially at rush hour as is car and rail traffic. They widened the sidewalk to contain a queue. The nearest other crossings are the Shoreline Blvd overpass and the Steven's Creek Trail overpass which is not lighted after dark.

The design of the Castro Street project is inept and arrogant. It is not their concern to throttle off the pedestrian traffic and that was hardly the intent of Measure A voters in 2000. There seems to be no case for what they are specifically doing though there surely is for making the crossing safer if possible. Pedestrians are stakeholders just as the railroad and car drivers are but apparently are despised.

If this is how they spend $5.8 million Measure A funds, what might they do to us spending a slice of $42-plus billion? The Nimby's have suddenly become much more credible.

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