Monday, July 27, 2015

Walk Score

If you lived in the downtown of a city, would you need a car?  It depends upon the downtown, really, and whether you could perform the vast majority of your daily routine by walking, biking, or transit.  If you lived in a flat in downtown London, you would be crazy to own a car.  But in Vail, you simply cannot survive without a car, unless you have extremely unusual circumstances. How would you shop and work?

Actually, there is a way to calculate whether surviving without a car is possible.  It is called a "Walk Score".  A walk score is a number between 0 and 100 which describes the walkability of a location.  If your walk score is 0, then everything you do in a daily routine requires a car.  If your walk score is 100, then everything you do can  be done without a car.

There are people, and increasingly - younger ones, who are actually choosing the community in which they want to live based upon a high walk score.  Why is a high walk score good?

Studies show that walking is healthy.  It not only provides exercise, but it also stimulates the mind.  It is peaceful.  Imagine if you could walk along a visually stimulating path to work.  Imagine if you didn't have to get into a car every time you needed to leave your house.  What would that do for your health?

There is a internet site, WalkScore, where you can calculate the walk score of your home.  I plugged in my home address and got a "6".  In other words, I could walk to a few things.  It's a 10 minute jaunt to Walgreens and a little bit further to Old Vail Station.  But overall, I have to use my car for almost everything.  This walk score seems correct.

But it doesn't have to be that way.  We could have more walking paths and more businesses in Vail. Do what you can to create a smart Vail.

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