What is a Walk Score and why does it Matter?

23 Mar
10

What is a Walk Score and why does it Matter?

One of the more interesting developments in the evaluation of homes and neighbourhoods is the Walk Score, which is a methodology that measures the walkability of any address using a patented system that has been approved by researchers.

Walkability can Make or Break a Neighbourhood

Neighbourhoods affect the price of a house or condo but it can be complicated to measure. How do you value amenities? Is a park more attractive than a community centre? How close is close when it comes to access to public transportation.

There is subjective and based on individual needs, but overall, there’s a baseline as to the value of walkability.

How is a Walk Score Measured?

A Walk Score measures all the available walking routes to local amenities. Points are awarded based on distance (or lack thereof). The goal is for an amenity to be within a five-minute walk, and a maximum amount of points are awarded if this is achieved. The longer the walk, the lower the walk score. Anything longer than a 30-minute walk is awarded zero points.

There’s more to a Walk Score than just Distance to Amenities

It also measures pedestrian friendliness, which is much more sophisticated and very informative. This means that a Walk Score reflects population density and road metrics to give an clearer idea of how busy and congested a neighbourhood is on a regular basis.

Where does a Walk Score get its Data from?

This might be the most important question of all because the reliability of the data is why the Walk Score is trusted. Any doubt as to the data’s validity will undermine its credibility. Walk Score compiles data from Google, education.com, Open Street Map, Census, Localeze and there’s data also collected from the user community.

 

The Walk Score Breakdown

90-100 – Walker’s Paradise

A score in this range means you do not need a car to run your daily errands.

70-89 – Very Walkable

Most errands can be accomplished without a car

50-69 – Somewhat Walkable

Some errands require the use of a car

25-49 – Car-Dependent

Most errands require a car

0-24 – Car Dependent

Close to 100% of errands require a car

When buying a home, the neighbourhood will play a crucial role. Walkability enhances the appeal of a neighbourhood and it’s useful to have a way to measure something as vital as distance to key amenities.