You have likely heard the term Walk Score. If not, Walk Score is a concept made popular by a website that evaluates and scores the walkability of any given address, or even the walkability of an overall city. The website uses a number of different inputs to measure the walkability of a place – number of walking routes, distances between amenities, population, street size, block lengths, and intersection density. Many of these things relate to city planning and the development standards that we have in place for the build-out of our neighborhoods.
Let’s look at McMinnville’s Walk Score: https://www.redfin.com/city/11457/OR/McMinnville/housing-market#transportation
Overall, McMinnville’s Walk Score is 41, which puts us in the “Car-Dependent City” category. However, Walk Scores vary widely throughout the city. In our residential areas closer to downtown, the Walk Score is higher. In other residential areas further away from the central core, the Walk Score is lower.
A random address at 1099 NE Ford Street (which isn’t an actual address but is located near the intersection of NE Ford Street and NE 11th Street) has a Walk Score of 84, which is in the “Very Walkable” category. On the other hand, a random address at 2420 NW West Hills Drive (again, not an actual address but on West Hills Drive west of Hill Road and north of 2nd Street) has a Walk Score of 15.
What are some of the differences in these neighborhoods that might affect walkability? Obviously there are more amenities downtown, but there is also more connectivity in the areas of our city with a grid street network, something we will discuss in a later blog post.
Enter your own address on the Walk Score website to see how walkable it is in the place that you live. As you think about walkability in your neighborhood, are there any potential Great Neighborhood Principles that would make McMinnville’s neighborhoods more pedestrian friendly?
"Great Neighborhood Principles" will help us explore what makes a neighborhood in