Walkable Cities

Posted by Doug Shidell, April 18th, 2012

A web site called Walk Score rates cities and neighborhoods for walkability, the ability to walk to destinations like stores and coffee shops. Of the fifty largest US cities, Minneapolis is ranked ninth most walkabable with a score of 69. Milwaukee is fifteenth (score: 61). Madison had a score of 55. All three are rated “somewhat walkable.

The site also rates individual neighborhoods. Scores over 90 are called “walker’s paradises.” In the Twin Cities, Minneapolis’ downtown east, Loring Park, and Lowry Hill East and downtown St. Paul are rated as walker’s paradises. Milwaukee’s most walkable neighborhoods are Northpoint, Murray Hill and Juneau Town. In Madison, the capitol area is the only one.

The least walkable cities in Wisconsin are Caledonia, Pleasant Prairie, and Mequon. All are in southeast Wisconsin (on the Milwaukee bike map) and are areas near Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee that have recently become urbanized. Given their low density, it is unlikely that these areas will ever become walkable. But perhaps they could be made bikeable.

One tool on the site allows the user to type in an employer’s address and get back a list of apartments within a walkable or bikeable distance or available on public transportation. Apparently major apartment listings now include walkable scores (see this article in Slate), reflecting a growing desire to get out of cars.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News