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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Infrastructure and Amusement or Why a Walk Score is Significant

Both infrastructure and amusement count when walking.

Essentially, this is what a Walk Score tells you.  

My neighborhood's walk score is 23, with a bike score of 33.  It is labeled as car dependent.

I have recently been reading about Walk Scores and their impact on both individual home owners and to local governments.  A 1 point increase in Walk Scores appears to equate to about a $3000 increase in home value for most metropolitan areas.  For local governments, heavily dependent on higher tax revenues via increased property values, this appears to be a win-win.  

The Walk Score for Bowling Av in Nashville - the southern expanse without sidewalks - is 31 with a bike score of 36 - considered car dependent.  

When compared to the walkability of Bowling, where sidewalks line both sides of the street, the Walk Score jumps to 51 with a bike score 66 and is considered somewhat walkable.  If the increase of $3000/one pt in Walk Score is to be believed - increasing walkability to the level of the north side of Bowling on the south end would increase property values by $60k.  That would be a significant boon for homeowners and local governments.

According to Nashville-Davidson is the 48th most walkable large city in the US with 601,222 residents.
Nashville-Davidson does not have many bike lanes.

The most walkable Nashville-Davidson neighborhoods are East End - south of 5 points, E Nashville, Citizens Protecting Revitalization - SOBRO  and Edgehill Community Garden.  In reality, these walk scores may be debatable.

But what appears to be without fault is that an increase in walkability equates to an increase in both improved quality of life scores and property values.  

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