Newest Way to Procrastinate on the Internet: Walk Score Adds Transit

11_5_09_walk_score.jpgThe area arond Park-LaBrea is "very walkable." I can agree with that.

Earlier today, Walk Score, the website that ranks areas based on how easy it is to lead a car-lite lifestyle, has taken a big step towards improving its metrics by adding transit data.  As long as a city has google transit, which thankfully Los Angeles now does, you can get a much clearer picture of how easy it would be to ditch your car after moving to a new neighborhood.

The site’s usefullness to home buyers and others just looking to move is one of the sites’ most useful tools.  Local real estate websites, such as Zip Realty, use Walk Score on their website to help home buyers make decisions.  When we were planning to move to Los Angeles, my wife and I used Walk Score to narrow down the neighborhoods in which we looked for a rental house; so I can vouch for the site’s usefulness.  Of course, the site doesn’t take into account urban design and safety issues, but between google street view and the LAPD’s crime map that information is also readily available.  In other words, Walk Score is a great place to start, but you probably want to do a little more research before signing a lease, a fact Walk Score doesn’t try to hide.

Walk Score has a use that they don’t advertise, what I call "Livable Streets Trash Talking."  My neighborhood has a Walk Score of 87, which is way higher than the scores for my brother’s in Woodland Hills (67), my mom’s in Marina Del Rey (71) or my Church’s in West L.A. (72.)  Since I work from home, I can also boast that my "office" has a more walkable area than the Flying Pigeon Bike Shop (71) and my wife’s office in Brentwood (72).  However, the trophy for having the most walkable community around your office goes to the Bus Rider’s Union who edged the Bike Coalition with a score of 98 to 95.

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