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Old 07-22-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Boston
59 posts, read 122,608 times
Reputation: 79

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America's Most (And Least) Walkable Cities

Most Walkable:
1. NYC
2. San Fran
3. Boston
4. Chicago
5. Philly
6. Seattle
7. DC
8. Miami
9. Minneapolis
10. Oakland

Least Walkable:
1. Jacksonville
2. Charlotte
3. Oklahoma City

It's a cool map, it shows the degree of walkability by neighborhood. Red is bad, green is good.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:37 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,176,306 times
Reputation: 7739
The funny thing is the redest areas in Philly are the parks (except for the airports/refineries/port) - They are great for walking from my perspective, even hiking...

The Philly map shows basically all of Fairmount Park as unwalkable

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikkornova/5766358924/ (broken link)
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,884 posts, read 10,393,652 times
Reputation: 8050
Good list but I don't see how Chicago is ranked over Philly and even DC. The streets were so wide and did not seem very pedestrian friendly. Streets in Philly are so narrow it is not necessary to cross at intersections.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Boston
1,082 posts, read 2,491,622 times
Reputation: 908
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
The funny thing is the redest areas in Philly are the parks (except for the airports/refineries/port) - They are great for walking from my perspective, even hiking...

The Philly map shows basically all of Fairmount Park as unwalkable

Bike ride | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikkornova/5766358924/ - broken link)
The walkscore algorithm is biased in favor of density of amenities (how many destinations within a certain radius) and official addresses that may or may not correctly reflect how close something is to a given point. My neighborhood, for example, is a green spot surrounded by red, but most of the red is either park or cemetery, reflecting the history of the area as a pastoral retreat from urban life. These red areas cause Boston's score to decrease, even though they are essentially uninhabited, and thereby not really part of the urban fabric as far as buildings, stores, and other items that add to the score.

I would agree that the parks are walkable, but this brings up the second point. There is a very large park a few blocks from my house, easy to get to on foot, but it does not show up on the list of walkable amenities if you plug in my address, because the official address of the park is on the opposite side from where I live. My sister lives on that other side, almost an identical distance to the park. Her house gets credit for this park, mine does not.

Still, in spite of some legitimate critiques, it does a fair enough job of estimating walkability.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:49 AM
 
2,114 posts, read 4,187,927 times
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Are there any lists for cities where you can go car free without any major problems?
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Boston
59 posts, read 122,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrcousert View Post
Are there any lists for cities where you can go car free without any major problems?
I don't know if there are any official lists, but I've lived in Boston for five years without a car and never had a problem. On the rare occasions I need to get out of the city I take the commuter rail, rent a zip car, or borrow a friend's car.

Also, no one I know in NYC has a car.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:08 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,176,306 times
Reputation: 7739
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfightin View Post
I don't know if there are any official lists, but I've lived in Boston for five years without a car and never had a problem. On the rare occasions I need to get out of the city I take the commuter rail, rent a zip car, or borrow a friend's car.

Also, no one I know in NYC has a car.

And I also think this depends on an individuals tolerance and specific location.

To me
Boston
Chicago
DC
NYC
Philly
SF

all stand out as being the easiest.

Other cities like Atlanta/LA/Seattle (and many more like Pittsburgh and Baltimore) can offer this maybe on a more isolated basis but just about any place can offer it. People can live in Dallas without a car if locations for residence/PT/work are strategically set etc.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:16 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,176,306 times
Reputation: 7739
Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryAlan View Post
The walkscore algorithm is biased in favor of density of amenities (how many destinations within a certain radius) and official addresses that may or may not correctly reflect how close something is to a given point. My neighborhood, for example, is a green spot surrounded by red, but most of the red is either park or cemetery, reflecting the history of the area as a pastoral retreat from urban life. These red areas cause Boston's score to decrease, even though they are essentially uninhabited, and thereby not really part of the urban fabric as far as buildings, stores, and other items that add to the score.

I would agree that the parks are walkable, but this brings up the second point. There is a very large park a few blocks from my house, easy to get to on foot, but it does not show up on the list of walkable amenities if you plug in my address, because the official address of the park is on the opposite side from where I live. My sister lives on that other side, almost an identical distance to the park. Her house gets credit for this park, mine does not.

Still, in spite of some legitimate critiques, it does a fair enough job of estimating walkability.

No I understand. On the whole most of Philadelphia is very walkable; some of the easiest walking in the country really. I just found the map odd as the only really red spots are either the expansive Fairmount park industrial and industrial areas with a population of 0 and where you are not allowed to even enter. Try walking through the middle of the PHL airport - my guess is that is a zero and could land you in a place where the ability to walk is severly limited. In looking at the map there appears large swaths of unwalkable city and while true there is a very specific reason for that

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregadams/507527376/ - broken link)

or even the countries 2nd largest oil refinery center after the gulf coast a lot of which resides in the actual footprint of Philadelphia

refinery | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/philly_photographer/2261885874/ - broken link)
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,774,924 times
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It is much easier to walk in New Orleans than Miami.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,446 posts, read 2,290,608 times
Reputation: 1361
Walkscore certainly has a few glitches, but on the whole I think it is a really cool and useful site. If you want more detail on a specific city, go to the website and you can get a breakdown by neighborhood for the largest cities.

And as the site explains, it doesn't really try to rate how "nice" a walk is, it is trying to tell you how easy it is to walk to specific necessary places like grocery stores, restaurants, etc. So while parks are very nice, if you live on one side of a huge park and all the grocery stores require a walk across the park to get there, that score will be lower than a place that is not very nice but has all the necessities...
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