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For the second time in a week, The Democrat and Chronicle has published a flawed real estate article. This one is titled, “Walkable neighborhoods are in demand.”

The first red flag is that the piece features a picture of a street with no sidewalks.


Screenshot, Democrat and Chronicle website, 5/16/15

Screenshot, Democrat and Chronicle website, 5/16/15

Two of the neighborhoods featured in the article are decidedly not walkable.

The Estates at Beaver Creek in Farmington backs up to a trail. That’s apparently enough for real estate agents to sell this as a walkable neighborhood.  But WalkScore, a website rating a place’s walkability, gives this neighborhood a 6 out of 100 points, an indication this area is about as car-dependent as it gets. This tiny, semi-rural development is surrounded by high-speed roads with no sidewalks. There are virtually no amenities, such as restaurants, stores, libraries and schools, within walking distance. It’s also not accessible to public transit.

Another featured neighborhood is the Black Watch subdivision in Perinton. WalkScore gives this neighborhood 23 out of 100 points, saying almost all errands require a car. While many houses are within one to two miles of businesses, these streets do not have sidewalks or streetlights. The winding roads in the street grid mean people have to walk longer distances to get from Point A to Point B. The businesses sit on high-speed, five-lane roads. This neighborhood is also not well-served by public transportation.

The other neighborhoods featured are more walkable. Roselawn in Brighton has a WalkScore of 60, meaning it’s somewhat walkable, and it’s also somewhat well-served by transit. But Spencerport and Scottsville villages, while wonderful, get scores in the 30s, probably because they’re surrounded by more semi-rural areas.

Just because you enjoy going out for a stroll, doesn’t mean you have a walkable neighborhood. Just because you have a trail in your backyard, doesn’t mean you have a walkable neighborhood. Just because you can and do walk around your neighborhood, doesn’t mean you have a walkable neighborhood. Just because there are parks and amenities nearby, doesn’t mean you have a walkable neighborhood.

Walkable neighborhoods value pedestrians. They have sidewalks, crosswalks, lower speed limits, narrower roads and streetlights. They have destinations. They are denser. They are not designed solely around cars. They have life and activity. Pedestrians feel safe. They have places to go. They enjoy the experience of walking. These neighborhoods have almost everything one needs.

The East End scores a 91, Park Ave. scores a 75, South Wedge scores a 78, Village of Pittsford scores a 74 and Village of Fairport scores a 70. Jeff Speck wrote a whole book about what it means to be a walkable place and why these places are so valuable. It’s an awesome read and could change the way you think about how we’ve designed spaces around cars.

The D&C article was right. Walkable neighborhoods are hot. But the paper and the real estate agents seriously misrepresented what it means to be walkable. It’s not a small error, as walkability means so much to people who are passionate about making our communities more accessible and vibrant.

Note: Earlier this week, I fiercely defended the D&C for standing up for access to information. Later in the week, I took the paper to task for two bungled articles. I love the paper. If I didn’t value the institution, I wouldn’t bother writing about its work. Accountability is important for all journalists, myself included.


Links of the Day:


– You don’t often see $1.6 million homes in the Rochester area.

– The Village of Pittsford’s politics are truly insane. Twenty-five percent of its budget is for legal fees?

– If you grow up in Monroe County, you’re less likely to be married by age 26.

– Binge drinking has increased in many places, including Monroe County.

– Syracuse police have a pattern of withholding information.

– Is there science backing up Chipotle and Whole Foods on GMOs?

Here are the highest-paid CEOs of 2014.

42 Responses to Bending Walkability to Sell Houses

  1. May 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm sean responds:

    Well it depends what you call walkable. I live in Scottsville. I can assure you the village from the high school down North Road, through Browns Avenue to the tiny “downtown” is very walkable and pleasant. So to me, it’s a walkable village. Is it as walkable as say the Elmwood Village in Buffalo or Park Ave? No but there’s two or three times the population and area in those locales. Is Greece Ridge or Marketplace walkable? Yes. Inside. Otherwise you take your life in your hands. It depends on what walkability is. Are the areas in Farmington and Black Watch walkable? If you want to take your life in your hands, sure. There are huge subdivision developments off of Erie Station Road in East Henrietta/Pittsford. They are far more walkable than Farmington or Black Watch. I know. I’ve walked every square foot of them.

  2. May 17, 2015 at 8:31 am Bill Pruitt responds:

    I really enjoy reading this blog, but I must disagree with this comment. I live on a street in Irondequoit that has no sidewalks or streetlights, and it must be among the most walked anywhere. On a spring Sunday morning such as this there is never a stretch of more than five minutes in which someone does not walk by. It is also a popular destination for runners. Sidewalks and streetlights are not the first determiners for walkability. My street is a long street but winds, is pleasant, relatively quiet without a lot of automobile traffic. These are factors which should be considered in the D&C article before it is judged “flawed.”

    • May 17, 2015 at 9:53 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      Again, the ability to go for a great stroll does not make your street walkable.

      • May 17, 2015 at 10:12 am Bill Pruitt responds:

        This sounds like a term has been created the meaning of which flies in the face of the use of the word. Although many people walk on a street, it is not walkable? Or, it is walkable (because people walk on it), but it does not have walkability? This is beginning to sound like calling a school “successful” because its students have high test scores. Are these descriptors of walkability relative to each other? Shouldn’t a street which is narrow and which people feel safe on, and which does not have much automobile traffic be given a pass on streetlights and sidewalks? I don’t feel safer or more ambulatory because of a streetlight.

        • May 17, 2015 at 10:20 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

          Please read: http://communitybuilders.net/walkability

          It’s truly laughable you think sidewalks are not necessary for a neighborhood to be considered walkable. Walkability means valuing pedestrians. Number one component is sidewalks. I can’t even believe this is a discussion. And you’re valuing your own experience above a community experience. A community includes seniors, children, people with no cars, people in wheelchairs, etc.

          • May 17, 2015 at 10:21 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

            You’re also forgetting walkability includes functional walking, not just recreational walking. You have to have a place to walk TO.

          • May 19, 2015 at 8:06 am Monkeytoe responds:

            Rachel – you found a definition of “walkable” that you think is THE DEFINITION.

            It is not. It is a definition YOU agree with. As seen by both the D&C article and comments to your rant – you are wrong. Most sensible people define walkable in the common sense way.

            the idea that you MUST have sidewalks to be “walkable” is laughable.

            Please stop relying solely on leftist propaganda to define your world.

          • May 19, 2015 at 9:47 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

            It’s not my definition.

          • May 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm Monkeytoe responds:

            It’s the definition you are claiming is the “correct” definition. That makes it yours for this purpose. You are defending the definition and you are claiming the definition is correct.

            You can’t have it both ways. Either you believe this is the only possible definition of “walkable” or you admit others have a different definition. If you admit the latter, your entire rant is meaningless.

            So, it must be the former. It’s the definition you believe is correct. You found some website that defines “walkable” in a way YOU agree with. good for you. It’s a dumb definition, but its yours.

  3. May 17, 2015 at 9:52 am Some Guy responds:

    Here’s the rub, “walkability” in low-density areas costs a lot more money for taxpayers because there are that many fewer of them, even though the ever-increasing costs of sidewalk and streetlight maintenance/electricity and plowing that don’t exist without streetlights and sidewalks, can, over time, start to eat up larger and larger shares of a household’s earnings.

    The climate, population densities and incomes of most places in this region simply do not and cannot merit anywhere near the level of infrastructure that exists in densely-populated urban neighborhoods. Frost-heaves and a 120+ year old water and sewer system destroy the “plowability” of most sidewalks on side streets in this city anyway, even though most of the city budget and its truly criminal property tax rate compared to the rest of America, goes towards just about everything other than basic infrastructure (much of it that should be funded by user fees anyway, and not taxes on the working poor, young families, and retirees on fixed incomes).

    Many governments in this region can’t even properly maintain their streets that motorists pay roughly $0.65 per gallon in taxes to build and maintain because all of the special interests have literally stolen those tax revenues for everything but roads and bridges.

    I don’t disagree that development should have been “smart” and sustainable all along, but government and the central bank created monetary policies over the past few decades that ensure America is well on its way towards becoming small enclaves of gated communities (probably built with 20 year COMIDA tax abatements), with large numbers of ghettos we used to call neighborhoods, back when people weren’t robbed of their dignity and sustenance for that nebulous elite goal of “the greater good”, which

    When government policy encourages and subsidizes stupidity (in this case in planning and development AND the financing of the same), I find it sad that most people are nonetheless surprised when stupid becomes the rule, rather than the exception. If you doubt this, follow the growth in market cap of a family business named Canandaiguia Wines as it became a top ten global alcoholic beverages company — it coincided with brother Robert Sands elevation to the regional central bank advisory committee. All of those acquisitions were CREDIT-BASED, and the family getting them has their kid on the board of the bank that issues that credit. Government does not exist “to level the playing field” economically, but neither does it exist to un-level it from natural levels. Government has to cease being the means of choosing winners and losers, and society has to go back to the times when those who wanted things paid the full freight themselves, and didn’t run to government to steal it from one class of people for the insatiable desires of another.

    If something is not financially sustainable absent artificial intervention (subsidies), odds are neither is that thing ecologically sustainable either. The root problem is the ecologically unsustainable has flourished because short-term planning is encouraged and subsidized by economic policies that emanate from the central bank branches who have a government license to create value out of thin air, and destroy the real value created by non-insiders in the process.

  4. May 17, 2015 at 9:55 am Animule responds:

    Rachel, the D&C article is factually incorrect. “The Blackwatch subdivision, located between Garnsey Road and Pittsford-Palmyra Road, is “great for walking and offers close proximity to town parks trails and canal,” he said. Homes sell for between $150,000 and $250,000. The neighborhood is close to the Perinton Square Mall, Fairport Public Library and Wegmans, as well as green spaces such as Garnsey Arboretum and McCoord Woods.” This is incorrect. Blackwatch is close to the TEMPORARY location of the Fairport Public Library. The Library recently moved to Perinton Hills Mall so that the permanent location of the Fairport Public Library in the village by the canal could be refurbished.

    Here is a link to that: http://www.fairportlibrary.org/about/renovation-project. Once the library moves back to its permanent location, you are talking about a three to four mile (one way) walk from Blackwatch to the Library – this is hardly “walkable.” It’s too bad this sales puffery made it into the article. The D&C needs to print a retraction, or correct this egregious error. Sad that the quality control at the paper is so bad that they let obvious mistakes like this go to curry favor with advertisers.

  5. May 17, 2015 at 11:04 am Bill Pruitt responds:

    I’m a dedicated walker and I don’t think it’s funny it all. I have no idea what “Walkability means bailiff pedestrians,” means, but I know that the”Number one component” of “walkability” is not sidewalks. The fact that you “can’t even believe this is a discussion.” is either an indication of your limited imagination or your limited concept of what a discussion is.

    • May 17, 2015 at 11:55 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      Autocorrect meant “value” pedestrians. And no, I don’t understand how anyone can say a community without sidewalks values pedestrians. It defies logic.

      • May 17, 2015 at 8:52 pm Bill Pruitt responds:

        The community has sidewalks; it’s simply my street that doesn’t have them. Here’s some more defiance of your logic: this street– Sagamore Drive– is on a major route for running groups, marathon practitioners; on Halloween, people bring their kids from elsewhere. by the carload. And in all but the worst weather the street is fairly filled with walkers, joggers, dog-walkers, stroller-pushers, bicyclists, the occasional skateboard. Where is the logic? Well, in realizing there are certain things more important than sidewalks, such as:

        a low amount of auto traffic
        a “community” that vigorously self-enforces the speed limit (drivers rarely go the maximum here)
        a street that winds; cars are not able to build speed
        and MOST IMPORTANT– the real thing that should be #1 on your Walkability List: there are reasons to walk here! Trees, birds and flowers! I know: these things lack logic, and do not appear on your clipboard.

        Just saying, you can find it laughable; but those walkers are out there. On my unwalkable street. Lots of them.

        • May 17, 2015 at 9:00 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

          Totally missing the point. Walkability isn’t just about recreation. It’s about whether you can live your life by walking a lot. You can trick or treat, but can you go get groceries? Can you pop in to see a movie? Can you get to your job?

          Put it this way: how about we forgo paving our streets. We can make them gravel. After all, we can still drive on them just fine. NO ONE would favor that. Why? We value our driving experience. The same is not true for walkers.

          • May 17, 2015 at 9:37 pm Bill Pruitt responds:

            I’m well aware of the desirability of amenities; it’s a reason I’m considering moving back to the city, where I lived for 22 years, raising a daughter through the school system, and a son up to 5th grade, when he needed to get bailed out. I never claimed my street had benefits beyond recreational walking.

            And you are totally missing my point, which was–originally–remember?– about language (which I actually think is important), that taking a term out of common speech like walkability, and giving it an arcane specialized meaning with lots of descriptors, and then using that term in a declarative sentence, that such and such a street is “not walkable” because it doesn’t have sidewalks or amenities: you’re claiming a meaning for a word it doesn’t have outside of your neighborhood of jargon. But it’s ok, it’s your blog, and you’ve got WalkScore, so you can do what you want with the English language, so walkability doesn’t exacty mean WALKability, it means living without a car. But why don’t you say what you mean instead of appropriating a word and loading it up with more meanings than it actually has? And then complaining because the realtors and the media aren’t using it the way you want them to?

          • May 17, 2015 at 9:48 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

            Bill, I’m not the one who came up with this term. Whole books have been written about it. I’m using that accepted definition. I appreciate your points, however.

          • May 17, 2015 at 10:33 pm Bill Pruitt responds:

            Thank you. I appreciate yours as well.

          • May 18, 2015 at 6:55 am Bill Pruitt responds:

            I thought I had posted a reply last night, but I don’t see it in SENT, so I’ll write it again: I appreciate your thoughts as well.

          • May 19, 2015 at 8:12 am Monkeytoe responds:

            In other words – “walkability” means urban. We get it. Suburbs cannot be “walkable” in your worldview.

            Just be honest about what you are saying.

            By your definition, almost no place in the Rochester Metro Area is “walkable”. Show me the place where you can walk to a movie theater. Just a few residences have that ability.

            Very, very, very few places in Rochester allow people to walk to their jobs (what is the definition you are using for this by the way? How close is close enough to walk to your job? In practicality, anyone can walk to their job if they have enough time).

            Unless you live near the East Avenue Wegmans, very few people in Rochester can walk to get their groceries.

            But, in your leftists world-view – “walkability” means access to public transportation. So riding the bus is no “walkable”? So silly.

            Again, we get it. You don’t want anyone to say any suburb is “walkable”. But, fortunately, people with common sense disagree with you. From my house in Penfield, I could easily walk to lots of different places. I’m within 3 miles of a lot of stores. Not all streets have sidewalks, but they have wide shoulders, making walking easy and pleasant. Even on main roads.

            Your definition defies common sense. It is locked into the idea that to be “walkable” it must be in a City. That’s nonsense.

          • May 19, 2015 at 9:47 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

            What?! Many suburbs and villages are now turning to walkability as a value. And when did WALKING – seriously WALKING – become “leftist?” Why are you so threatened by the concept of helping people walk???? And walkability also includes access to transit and bikes. It’s not just walking to your job. Way to twist this into argument over city versus suburb.

          • May 19, 2015 at 10:22 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

            And no one said all neighborhoods HAVE to be walkable. No one said this is a MUST. The only point here is that the neighborhoods described are NOT walkable.

          • May 19, 2015 at 11:08 am Bill Pruitt responds:

            You can’t have it both ways. You can’t capitalize it WALKING– when you’re not talking “just walking.” Just acknowledge that. This is really about using words correctly. You’re talking about people using wheelchairs and going to stores. Nothing wrong with that, nothing! But it’s not “WALKING.”

          • May 19, 2015 at 12:06 pm Bill Pruitt responds:

            I have an idea: instead of insulting your readers– not a sensible approach for a blogger, even one who has exemplary values– why don’t you say, “Hey reader, sidewalks are for more than just walking!” Because that’s what you really mean. That way you won’t have to strain to put “Walking” in all caps, when you don’t even mean “walking.”

          • May 19, 2015 at 12:48 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

            WALKING appears to be under great attack in this thread as a lifestyle of choice. No one is saying this is a lifestyle anyone has to choose, which seems to be lost here.

          • May 19, 2015 at 4:09 pm Bill Pruitt responds:

            I am beginning to understand your special use of language, Rachel. I have certainly not attacked walking as a lifestyle. I love walking. But I understand now that when you say WALKING is under attack, we know you don’t mean walking the way that word is normally used in the language. So that’s good, just use all caps when you are switching to special meaning (like air quotes) and we will understand.

          • May 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm Monkeytoe responds:

            Your definition of walking is

            – close to a theater
            – close to a grocery store
            – close to public transportation
            – close to work
            – sidewalks.

            In order to meet your definition you must have high density – i.e., urban areas. So, you can pretend it isn’t about City versus burbs, but your definition belies that. Try to think it through. If you are relying on buses or subways to get your places, you are not “walking” to those places.

            Some other common sense for you to consider:

            1) if you are using public transportation – you are not walking. that is pretty straightforward. So claiming “walkability” requires access to public transport is idiotic.

            2) You don’t need sidewalks to walk.

            3) very few places within the City are walkable to a grocery store. And very few places in the burbs aren’t either.

            4) Very few people live close to where they work, even in highly dense places like a city.

            Thus, your definition of “walkability” is nonsense. And, as I pointed out above, it is based entirely on urban ideas.

          • May 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm Monkeytoe responds:

            “Many suburbs and villages are now turning to walkability as a value.”

            What does this mean? What villages and suburbs are doing this? How?

            If you actually read the site you rely on for what is “walkability”, you have to have a lot of stores, restaurants, museums, etc., within 1/2 mile of someone’s home. How do you suggest the burbs are going about actively creating this? Since most burbs are already zoned, it seems unlikely that they are breaking up developments to put in stores within walking distance.

            I walk a lot. I also bike a lot. My neighborhood has no sidewalks, but is very walkable. As is the surrounding area. I can walk to local parks (without a sidewalk) and walk to other locations.

            But, according to your definition, it is not walkable. The point is that your definition is incredibly narrow and based on the idea that everyone lives, eats, shops, etc. within 1/2 mile from their home. that is what the site your rely on advocates. It’s nonsense. That isn’t what the average person means by “walkable”.

          • May 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm Monkeytoe responds:

            “Why are you so threatened by the concept of helping people walk????”

            Do people really need help walking? Is that something we need gov’t for?

            Regardless, you aren’t talking about helping people walk – you are talking about what is within a reasonable walking distance. So, what you meant to say is “helping people have things to walk to like stores, restaurants, and theaters”.

            I’m not against walking. I’m against the concept that someplace is only “walkable” if it is near to things you think it should be near to or has a sidewalk. A sidewalk is not necessarily required to be able to walk and stores aren’t required to be able to walk.

  6. There are topics that a newspaper covers for which the coverage is almost guaranteed to be marketing puffery. Real estate is one of these; automobiles, travel and food are others. There are exceptions, of course, but in general “feature” articles follow the advertising revenue.

    • May 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm Some Guy responds:

      Good point, Mark Jackson. I know I can’t be the only one who’s noticed the trend that if a D&C article is written by a regular D&C freelancer, it often sounds way more like a glowing press release about the subject business or industry than anything even approaching actual journalism.

      And accurate portrayals of statistics in the media would be disastrous towards ad sales, and thus, rarely occur in these parts.

      I agree with the points above that the methodologies being used to ascertain some arbitrary level of walkability for neighborhoods are more than a tad problematic; sidewalks in the city are typically bad tripping hazards that get worse every time tree roots grow, abysmal on the joints of runners (and thus not used by a large share of them), are largely unpassable by what seems like a peculiar increase in the portion of the population of all ages dependent on motorized wheelchairs or scooters for even basic mobility (and totally impassable during most of the winter). And the drivers are worse and the on-street parking obscures pedestrians from the view of drivers that aren’t even doing their part to pay attention to such “moving targets”.

      So I’ve got to agree with the general consensus that walking or running is safer in plenty of neighborhoods with and without sidewalks in the burbs than many/most “highly-walkable” neighborhoods in the city — replete with sidewalks, streetlamps, and every other accoutrement the “geniuses” at city certainly overpaid for when first purchased and certainly fail to maintain to spec (and as we all saw this winter, cease to be able to plow them altogether should the temperature not rise above freezing for two weeks in February).

      I come from the school of thought that anything worth doing is either worth doing right, or not doing at all. That sort of reasoning is enough to make one an iconoclast in a place that, perhaps appropriately, calls itself the world’s “image” center. We like the appearance of caring and doing things well, without actually assessing priorities and understanding the often immoral legacy costs of decisions made today, let alone the effort required to actually prioritize and do those things well that can and should be done. Streets and sidewalks are about as basic a governmental service as one can think of, and yet, most local government expenditures consist of what is basically glorified babysitting at $30,000 a year per pupil (RCSD), or ensuring the viability of a feral lifestyle and all of the human misery that its perpetuation exacerbates. Both sides of a street in most places do not need sidewalks. Reflective vests or LED blinkers are properly understood to be the responsibility of the pedestrian

      Most people voted a long time ago in the only truly relevant vote they could cast (a vote which was undeniably subsidized by central bank policies), to abandon cities. Until that reality is accepted, I don’t see an exodus from the suburbs coming anytime soon (except to the exurbs, as urban-suburban is used to sustain otherwise unjustifiable faculty numbers at suburban schools with declining enrollment and far more political clout in the teacher ranks than the city teachers union has possessed in years). I’m fine with the Lovely Warrens of the world reminding me to stay in my lane, but I’m not fine with being robbed at the proverbial muzzle of a gun by government to prop up overt failures that have their origins before even Tommy Richards was old enough to buy a beer. It isn’t charity to subsidize failure in this manner, it’s just extortion by another name.

    • May 19, 2015 at 12:23 pm Monkeytoe responds:

      Almost any article on a democratic candidate or officeholder in the D&C is essentially that person’s press release.

  7. May 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm Monkeytoe responds:

    Why is walking to public transportation “walkable” but walking to my car is “not walkable”?

    both rely on motorized vehicles to transport me somewhere. What makes one “walkable” and the other not?

    • May 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

      Walkability is an urban planning term for which I’ve included the definition link in this comment thread. You’re deliberately distorting the context and meaning.

      • May 19, 2015 at 12:52 pm Monkeytoe responds:

        “Walkability is an URBAN planning term for which I’ve included the definition link in this comment thread. You’re deliberately distorting the context and meaning.”

        I thought you said it wasn’t urban versus suburban?

        Regardless, you are being obtuse. I went to the site you claim gives the definition and read the definition. It is a nonsense definition. I’m not distorting context and meaning – I’m telling you that the narrow definition you found from one website is nonsense and does not represent what most people mean by “walkability” – because you agree with that narrow definition does not make it correct.\

        I then asked some simple questions to show how foolish your definition is – why is a bus “walkable’ but a car “not walkable”? Can you answer that?

        • May 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm Monkeytoe responds:

          I’ll answer the question about bus versus car – the organization whose definition of “walkability” you are using wants to reduce the use of cars. That is why buses are considered “walkable” but cars are not.

          It has nothing to do with whether an area is “walkable” (meaning being able to walk there) but instead has to do with environmental concerns (use of cars).

          Do you understand how that is not a reasonable definition of “walkable” that the regular person agrees with?

  8. May 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm Pedro responds:

    Here’s my definition of walkability: You have a party, everyone gets drunk and you run out of beer. Can you easily walk to go get more as to not risk a DWI? If yes, that is a walkable neighborhood. You could also apply this to other grocery items but this happens to come up a lot at my age.
    Big suburban cul-de-sacs (which I grew up in) are walkable in the sense that you can walk easily in a circle around them, but not in any useful sense. You still need to get in the car to any nearly any activity outside of your little bubble.

  9. May 21, 2015 at 12:21 am Orielly responds:

    “walkability” is the buzzword, its the nail to hang the hat on for those promoting City living.
    Defining walkability is useless- because when you point out that many a burb track with no sidewalks but has lots of walkers of any age including seniors at 11 PM .. the left pro city crowd will just say “thats not walkability” Only they get to define it.

    But of course the city is…walkable, its just you’ll never find a Senior walking their dog at 11 PM in the city. And if the house isn’t locked its boarded up.

    Where do more people walk logically would seem to make sense for a comparison. I’d compare my neighborhood’s number of walkers with any city neighborhood. But who cares if my neighborhood has more walkers than the 19th ward? My streets have no sidewalks no stores so WE LOSE. Numbers of walkers doesn’t matter. (is that ridiculous or what?) ALL I have to do is not pay attention to those 100s or daily walkers, and forget that there is no crime, and unlocked doors. are common. There is no store in my neighborhood…. so I lose.

    And where do or DID all these “know all walkability geeks” go to live to raise their kids ? The Burbs of course where their kids can safely walk at night or bike and even play in the streets.

    The left– the fact that they lost the argument … means little. Cause of course they are right and we need to change to suit them.

  10. May 22, 2015 at 9:14 pm Bill responds:

    Sounds like a lot of people here are trying to put recreational walking on the same level as transportation walking. That’s what walkability is concerned with, functional walking for transportation.

  11. May 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm Kristo Miettinen responds:

    The realtors may not be so wrong, though I don’t know those neighborhoods covered in the article. But I do know my own, so I looked it up on Walkscore. We score a 17 on walkability, but the site also gives other data, like a mini-map of where it thinks you can walk to in 20 minutes. That map shows they are really only tracking where you can walk to on roads, sidewalks, or paved trails. Thus, the fact that Wegmans, the YMCA, restaurants, barber shops, a dry cleaner, a liquor store, etc are only a few hundred yards away doesn’t register in their system, because to walk to them you have to take the unpaved trails that connect our back yards, not the paved sidewalks in front. The paved paths all follow roads, and car traffic is deliberately restricted in various ways (entry/exit points located away from busy intersections or commercial development), so Walkscore thinks our amenities are out of walking range when you can practically throw a nickel and hit them.

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