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