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Old 07-25-2011, 10:51 PM
 
164 posts, read 241,849 times
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In a study of the nation’s 50 largest cities, Minneapolis is ranked as the 9th most walker-friendly city, according to a new report from Walk Score.

Walk Score 2011 Ranking of Most Walkable Cities

What can be improved to make us a better city for pedestrians?
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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I wouldn't give too much weight to a Walk Score ranking. There's no control or even really suggestion over how things are input (what exactly constitutes "groceries"?). Input rates are vastly different in different areas. There are obvious bugs in the code (sometimes certain businesses appear, sometimes they don't; there was one street in Rosemount where if I clicked in one spot I'd get a Walk Score of like 78, if I clicked in an adjacent spot the score was like 42). I also strongly question the heavy weight given to coffee shops.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northsub View Post
I wouldn't give too much weight to a Walk Score ranking. There's no control or even really suggestion over how things are input (what exactly constitutes "groceries"?). Input rates are vastly different in different areas. There are obvious bugs in the code (sometimes certain businesses appear, sometimes they don't; there was one street in Rosemount where if I clicked in one spot I'd get a Walk Score of like 78, if I clicked in an adjacent spot the score was like 42). I also strongly question the heavy weight given to coffee shops.
I agree-most of the listings they show for "Rosemount" are actually in Apple Valley--even though we have our own coffee shops and grocery stores here. It wants me to walk 4 miles out my way to go to the coffee shop that is 6 blocks from my house.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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I somewhat agree with northsub on this- although I think walkscore can be good for giving a general feel/indicator of an area's walkability, it should be used for decision-making with caution due to so many problems w/ the website. It's great that Mpls was deemed one of the most walkable cities in the country, however, as walkscore's probably as good of an indicator as anything out there I suppose outside of conducting massive studies.

My neighborhood's as walkable as I need it to be- sure it'd be nice to be able to walk to a co-op or to get groceries, but I have a number of great locally-owned restaurants, a coffee shop, and other businesses that I can easily walk to from my house- not to mention a ton of park space and multiple lakes. On walkscore, it registers a low walkscore for city standards- I'm not saying my neighborhood's the most walkable or stacks up comparative to a lot of other areas in Mpls, but it bothers me that the vast green space of Victory Memorial Parkway, considered an entire 'parks district' by the Park & Recreation Board and part of the Grand Rounds, doesn't register as a park on the site (nor do other parks in the neighborhood), and a number of businesses don't register as well. I've CONSISTENTLY had problems in trying to register what's missing myself (as in I've tried multiple times, and it never works/registers, or that feature of the site is down- and I'm a very web/database-savvy individual). I've complained to the site itself about this, but the moderators/tech people don't seem to be able to grasp their own technical difficulties. The website itself has a ton of great potential and is a great concept- if they could manage to work out all of the bugs w/their technology, I'd be a huge fan.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Tired and recycled critiques of the walkscore website aside, I think the more interesting discussion in this topic is in finding ways that we can improve the "walkability" of the city.
For my family eliminating car-dependancy is a more important issue than walkability, although I would say that to a large extent the two are related. Even if there aren't a ton of places to reach within a couple blocks of where you live, having the ability to easily hop on a bus or train or take a pleasant and safe bike route to get to where you want to go is huge. For me, improving public transportation access and increasing the number of designated bike lanes and separate bike routes is key. Also, increasing population density of an area will almost always make the area more walkable as the area will then support more and more specialized local businesses. It would be improving these areas that would make Minneapolis more pedestrian-friendly...although overall I'd say it's already pretty good here.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:12 AM
 
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Well, to answer the question then, add your local shops to the list and your walkscore will increase dramatically.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Well, to answer the question then, add your local shops to the list and your walkscore will increase dramatically.
That does nothing to answer the question, look back at the OP. The question was what can be improved to make Minneapolis a better city for pedestrians.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: MN
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This list seems a bit strange.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Gladstone, MO
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Hmm that website gave my apartment in St. Cloud a 49, which IMO SEEMS a little too high, the only thing close by is 2 gas stations, and if you cross the highway there'll be another gas station, if you want to go anywhere else you'll have to walk even further and cross the highway a couple times...

Hmm, I can understand how the list might seem strange, Los Angeles is 13, but I never been there but it seems to be a general assumption, atleast to people like me who've never been there, that think of it as a very car dependent city, mainly based on the fact it's such a large and spread out city. And also Houston isn't on there, which isn't surprising, but I think of it like Los Angeles, a huge massive very spread out city.

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Anyways, improving "walkability" of Minneapolis, definitely increase population densities of some of the least "walkable" areas(how you would determine which areas are the least walkable? I have no clue, but thats a whole different discussion), which will bring in more people, and then local business's can move in and since theres a huge cluster of people, they'll definitely do more business then they would in an area with a lower population density. Though a whole other question that pops up, how would you improve population density of lower density areas? I'm not actually asking this and don't want to derail the topic, but just throwing it out there that it is a whole other thing you'd have to think about as well. I can agree with that eliminating car dependency and walkability are related.

Next thing to do is improve public transportation, but very carefully(hard to explain). Example, for areas not next to a park/lake or something, get public transportation there so the residents can have access to parks, so in the end, no matter what neighborhood you live in, you'll have easy access to a park. So a family or someone that wants a park close by won't be limited with only the neighborhoods that have parks, since no matter where you live you'll be able to just hop on a bus or something and get to a park quickly and easily if you happen to not live close to a park. Hopefully people understand what I am trying to say.

EDIT: My bad, I just noticed Houston is number 23 on that list.

Last edited by Radical_Car; 07-26-2011 at 09:28 PM..
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Blaine MN
70 posts, read 265,474 times
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Maybe something can be done about the weather (LOL). Just kidding, we have lots of skyways downtown and that helps make Minneapolis a "walkable" city.
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