How walkable is your neighborhood? Everyone has an opinion on this, including the folks at Walkscore.com. Walk Score® recently ranked Seattle’s neighborhoods…and the city as a whole. We came in #6 nationally, behind the “big boys” such as San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. (In the spirit of sibling rivalry, we will note that we came in above a certain city to the south at #10).
Number 6 is pretty good, but Seattle has the goal of being the most walkable city in the nation, and we’ve got a new Pedestrian Master Plan to help us get there.
Walk Score® uses destinations to generate the rankings. It’s a good online tool that makes it easy to figure out what’s nearby, whether that’s a grocery store, a restaurant, or a park. But Walkscore doesn’t account for a lot of things that make or break a walk through the city like sidewalks, hills, trees, access to public transportation, or traffic volumes.
We think we’ve come up with something better—or at least more complete—as part of Seattle’s draft Pedestrian Master Plan. In addition to destinations, we’ve also looked at every intersection and every block in the city to see what needs to be done to make that part of Seattle more walkable. We’ve included all the things Walk Score® doesn’t: sidewalks, crosswalks, signals, traffic, connections to transit, and much more. Seattle’s stretching its legs and striding out towards #1.