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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

How Easy Is Walking?

Posted by Alex | August 8th, 2007 | Filed under Environmental Change, Positive Change, Sustainability

Picture 4.pngWith good planning and zoning, your neighborhood can provide most of your everyday needs within easy walking distance. With bad planning, you have to hop in your car every time you need a half-gallon of milk. Though the charms of a suburban cul-de-sac might once have seemed to outweigh the pain of having to drive everywhere, it’s hard to ignore the problems it’s helped to engender: sprawl, obesity and carbon emissions.

By now, you probably know how easy ” or painfully difficult ” it is to walk in your neighborhood. But in a cool new Google Maps mashup (and I’m a sucker for any Google Maps mashup), Walkscore.com rates your address on a scale of 0-100. At the same time, it maps and lists everything from the grocery stores and restaurants to bookstores and libraries in walking distance of your home.

So check it out. Who knows? Maybe your neighborhood is more walkable than you think. Via Treehugger.

7 Responses to “How Easy Is Walking?”

  • August 9, 2007 at 9:12 am | Allison says

    Very cool. Thanks for the Walkscore.com link. Turns out our neighborhood scored a 22 out of 100. Not so hot, but I did find a new bookstore and movie theater relatively nearby. Am trying to walk more to nearby services – this requires better planning and more time than when driving, but can also force you to have a little time to think and relax.

  • August 10, 2007 at 11:54 am | marguerite manteau-rao says

    Thanks for this post. My problem is I already know where everything is in my neighborhood. The greater challenge though is the surrounding cultural climate that makes walking such an unnatural thing to do. When I was in Paris a few weeks ago, I walked everywhere. Of course it helped that I did not have a car . . . It also helped that the city is such a pleasure to discover. Also, walking is a Parisian way of life!

    A few days, I was musing about the idea of starting a Walk Everywhere in America type of project. It would take a bit of a critical mass to start with, but if you are interested, I would love to chat further. Walking, such a simple thing, could be the solution to so many huge problems, including health and environmental.

    I will add you to my blogroll. I really love what you are trying to do. Very creative.

    I love to dream . . .

    marguerite
    http://lamarguerite.wordpress.com
    “The Daily Sins of a Green Girl Wannabe”

  • August 17, 2007 at 12:05 pm | Eugénie says

    Marguerite,

    You might be interested in the work of the photographer Aaron Huey. (www.aaronhuey.com). He and his dog Cosmo walked from New York to California in 2002, writing and photographing along the way. All very much under the radar. Amazing photos. On his site, click on the hamburger, and once in there, go to the “Portraits of America”.

    EF

  • August 20, 2007 at 7:24 pm | Marc F says

    This. Is. Awesome. My ‘hood scored a 95, which makes me feel pretty bad about the fact that I take the motorcycle across town pretty much every day for one reason or another… thanks for the guilt trip. No really, this IS super cool.

  • August 21, 2007 at 9:22 am | Alex says

    Hi Marc,

    Yeah, when my neighborhood scored a 98 it pretty much seemed like an exhortation to sell my car, like, right now. I’m fortunate in that I’m able to walk to work, but I’d feel a lot better if I wasn’t hopping in the car every few days just to get across the river, a commute plenty of people do by bike. I suppose a motorcycle is a step in the right direction, but stay safe out there!

    Cheers,
    Alex

  • August 22, 2007 at 8:15 pm | Tyler Cheung says

    w00t! cambridge: 91/100. Now if only the buildings weren’t so ugly half the time….

  • August 25, 2007 at 8:53 pm | Victoria E says

    Though I’ve seen this site mentioned on oodles of sites already, I still that it is quite nifty :)

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