Our new tenant, Theresa Devine, an interactive arts professor at ASU who just moved here from Chicago was telling me about Walk Score yesterday, a website that generates “a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address”.  She’s in the market to buy a house in Phoenix, our duplex is just a stop on her journey, and is using this site to determine what neighborhood she wants to live in permanently.

She’s living proof that people moving to Phoenix are seeking walkability.  In fact, Walk Score claims that there is a dollar value attached to every point scored.  For Phoenix, every point you score in walkability can add $1557 of value to your home.  Here’s the Walk Score grading chart:

Walk Score Description

90-100          Walkers Paradise – Daily errands do not require a car

70-89            Very Walkable – Most errands can be accomplished on foot

50-69            Somewhat Walkable – Some amenities within walking distance

25-49            Car-Dependent – A few amenities within walking distance

0-24              Car-Dependent – Almost all errands require a car

Here’s how some parts of the Valley score:

The Orpheum Lofts in Downtown Phoenix: 92 Walkers Paradise

100 W. Almeria Rd. near the Phoenix Art Museum: 82 Very Walkable

210 W. Turney Ave. near Lux Coffeebar: 72 Very Walkable

900 W. Campbell Ave near Phoenix Metro Retro: 75 Very Walkable

1624 E. Palo Verde Dr. near Luci’s Healthy Marketplace: 71 Very Walkable

824 E. Sheridan St. in the Coronado Neighborhood: 77 Very Walkable

748 W. Galveston St., near Downtown Chandler: 55 Somewhat Walkable

1900 W. Bluebird Dr., in Ocotillo, a sub-suburb of Chandler: 24 Car-Depedent

18830 W. Indianola Ave, in Verrado: 8 Car-Dependent

8900 W. Citrus Way near Glendale Arena: 35 Car-Dependent

So Phoenix developers, take heed of these scores.  People don’t want to live way out in the car-dependent suburbs anymore.  They want to live closer to the centers of town, where they can walk to places and live in community.  According to Walk Score, “Studies show that for every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%.”  People want to get out of their cars and want to hit the (pervious) pavement and be with people.  Being stuck in a grid-locked highway on the way home from work doesn’t count as being with people.

Find out how your home scores and see if you’re happy with your Walk Score.  If not, you may want to consider moving towards the city center.

Photo Credit: A public tree-canopied square in Mexico City.  Photo by Taz Loomans

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8 Responses

  1. Annette says:

    Hi Taz! I just moved to Phoenix from DC with my boyfriend, where walkability is probably my favorite thing about the city. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, and today’s post definitely rang true for me – actually, our house’s walkability score was one of the things that clinched the deal for me!

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Annette, thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Great job in finding a house with a high Walk Score, that’s not always easy to do in Phoenix! Nice going and proof positive that people moving here are seeking walkability.

  2. Donna Reiner says:

    Since the house across the street from mine was rated as very walkable, that’s great. However, this person must have far more daily errands than I do, since my car generally sits at times for weeks on end. So part of making a place walkable, in my estimation, is also to reassess what are you needs. And I include taking public transportation into my figure of making an area walkable since it actually expands my range, although I can easily walk if I want to.

  3. Taz Loomans says:

    Donna, you and your walking escapades are one reason I wanted to show Coronado’s Walk Score!

  4. kate says:

    I have to say I’m not sure how well the “rating” works. I live in a walkable area (when its not hot) and a VERY bikable area in Phoenix’s arcadia area and my score is only 60. Mind you my “errands” consist of a 5-6 mile commute and going to Tempe/Downtown Phx with a large amount of books for class, but the “rating” doesn’t know that. I have a grocery store, public high school, pharmacy, restaurants, bars, mall, and gym all with in .14-3 miles of my house, side walk and bike lanes available, and my rating is only 60? Something isn’t right.
    We ended up not buying a home in Coronado, one of the reasons is because things like the grocery store and out gym weren’t as close (this was before light rail). hmmmmm o well, guess I’m glad i don’t live in Queen Creek.

  5. Annette says:

    I was actually surprised to see that I have the same score here as in DC! I think it’s interesting that you value historic preservation and greater density (I do too). Maybe this is too big a question to pose here, but but I’ve been wondering if you consider those to be conflicting priorities, and if so, how does one strike a balance?

  6. […] Castaway House is central to all the great things that already exist in this urban node, with a Walk Score of 78.  It was important to be within a dense area where biking, walking and transit are viable […]

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