Do you know what your walk score is? If you haven't checked it out yet, why not do it now! Go to www.walkscore.com to find out how walkable your neighborhood is. Not only does it give you your score out of a possible 100 points (0 meaning you are totally car-dependent to 100 being the most walkable), but it also lists the mileage to restaurants, shopping, schools, coffee shops, parks and other points of interest nearby, generally within a distance of one-quarter mile to one mile from your home. If you score 70 or over, that indicates that you can possibly get by without a car. You can now find out your transit score as well. And, there is a real economic boost in having a high walk score, with a recent report showing a direct correlation between your walk score and the value of your home. The higher the score, the higher the value.
As part of our Center for 21st Century Communities, one of our 8 assets is physical design and walkability. We emphasize the importance of designing communities that allow people to socially connect with each other and get from point A to point B without always relying on the car. Walkable communities are not only greener, but enhance our quality of life as well. If we are going to be competitive in a global economy, then we have to create the type of communities that will attract people of all ages. This is a great tool to measure how we are doing!
Colleen Layton is Director of Policy Development at the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 734-669-6320 or email@example.com