If you’re moving soon and want to find a place that allows for good walkability, Walkonomics, a new website rating the walkability of streets and neighborhoods, is right up your alley.
The site is aiming to eventually provide a comprehensive picture of the walkability of every street in the world. There are already sites out there that will tell you your walking proximity to stores, restaurants, and other places, but according to founder Adam Davies, that’s only a small part of what people really want to know.
Walkonomics will allow locals to rate the walkability of specific streets, which will then be combined with public data to provide information on safety, sidewalk accessibility, and even streetlights and signage. Over time, it will also let you know crime details, if there are people regularly hanging around on corners, if there are lots of trees, and even what kind of architecture is in the area.
The site currently tracks the walkability of about 600,000 streets in the U.S. and U.K., using crowdsourced information and public government data. Streets are scored over eight categories - road safety, easy to cross, sidewalks, hilliness, navigation, fear of crime, smart and beautiful, fun and relaxing - and users can regularly contribute their own information, shifting the scores accordingly.
I’d say it is much more appealing to get this info from fellow city dwellers and locals rather than soley from government data, particularly if you’re moving into the city or far away from where you have previously lived. We all know that walkable cities are healthier and friendlier cities, so if this catches on, it may encourage city officials to evaluate how pedestrian-friendly they should be.
There are plenty of streets to be added yet, so check out the website and add some information about your own neighborhood.