Thursday, September 23, 2010

On Walkability, Density, and Transit Villages

by Transbay Blog
17 July 2008

It’s official: according to the rankings, San Francisco has been determined to be America’s most walkable city, as reported by the Chronicle. Our fair city’s score of 86 out of 100 just edged out New York’s 83, Boston’s 79, Chicago’s 76, and Philadelphia’s 74. The WalkScore algorithm does have some shortcomings (which the site frankly admits) — pedestrian conditions on Stockton Street in SF’s Chinatown could be much better than they are now, but that did not stop Chinatown from receiving a top score of 99 out of 100, a score largely based on the high density of a large variety of shops and services in a very compact area. But for anyone who has strolled through San Francisco’s downtown or neighborhood commercial districts, this news does not really come as too much of a surprise. Check out the complete listing of neighborhood scores here.
But the most revealing part of the article was not the part glorifying San Francisco, but rather, the part indicating that the Bay Area, taken as a whole, could be much more walkable than it is now. The Bay Area region fell in third place, “well below the greater Washington, D.C., and Boston regions,” according to the Chron.
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