This is a good idea, but in practice it isn’t terribly accurate. The idea is to tell you whether the area in which you live is walker-friendly – how many stores, restaurants, bars, etc. are close to you? Unfortunately, Google’s database, the basis of the Walkscore algorithm, seems deficient. I live amidst a veritable explosion of eateries here in DC – plus, I’m within easy walking distance of the National Zoo. Lions and tigers! Pandas and elephants! A flippin’ baby giant anteater! That’s gotta be a triple walk score right there. Yet my score is only 82/100 – a B. Why?
So then I looked at the sleepy town where I used to live. My old house had a score of 60. WHAT? There was nothing to do there! That’s why I left!
A quick check of the destinations listed explained it all. I used to live very close to, yet inexplicably did not visit, the Young Marines, Municipal Building Maintenance, Municipal Park Maintenance, the Department of Fisheries, several long-defunct libraries and cafes, a catering establishment, and eight schools. And then there’s the slight problem of the RIVER between my house and half the proposed destinations. It’s hard to carry groceries while snorkeling. (These are all known issues with Walkscore.)
No algorithm is perfect, but Walkscore will not tell you if you live in a “good” neighborhood. Only visiting can tell you that. And I’m going to go visit the giant baby anteater.