Posted on August 23, 2010 7:23 AM
WalkScore -- a website that scores the walkability of a location (on a scale of 1 to 100) -- recently made some tweaks to improve accuracy. Originally, WalkScore ranked locations based upon the proximity of nearby amenities, such as supermarkets, restaurants, dry cleaners, cafes, etc.
However, the website recently made some changes to improve the accuracy of its rankings. First, the walkability “score” of a particular location is now based upon the measurement of the actual walking distance, as opposed to “as-the-crow-flies” distance. Secondly, the scoring program now incorporates pedestrian friendliness metrics such as intersection density and block length. In addition, the website has added a separate Transit Score number as a calculation of transit service quality for more than 40 metropolitan areas, where transit data is available. The Transit Score number is calculated by assigning a "usefulness" value to nearby transit based on its mode, frequency, and walking distance to nearest stop. Finally, WalkScore has introduced new, interactive “heat maps” to visualize and “find the most walkable neighborhoods in the top 40 U.S. cities.” Overall, Chicago ranks fourth, behind San Francisco, New York, and Boston.