I was reading the local news tonight online, and came across a neat feature story, which describes this website:
This is COOL! You see, this is why I bought a house in the city instead of one of the “ring” communities as our first realtor liked to describe them. Not that I was this big walker, but I wanted to live near where I LIVE, not have to drive a long distance to do anything. And this back when gas was cheap. The first house we owned had a walkability score of 69 out of 100. (Our current house has a score of 38 out of 100, but I don’t find the drives to be too bad…they’re short drives and lots of close by stuff that we use.)
I plugged in my parents’ house’s address. I once ran out of gas on the way there when I had a car without a working gas gauge and I was running things too close. I learned a little about walkability scores that day. 11 out of 100. (I believe it, too!. You gotta drive to just about anything out there.)
I then plugged in my CHURCH! I’ve often thought living in my church’s neighborhood would be a dream come true, after I retire. It’s right by a library, not too far from a couple of grocery stores, a pharmacy and hardware store (well, until the Menards’ and Home Depot’s of the world put ’em out of business. <sigh> But that’s a topic for another time. I’m not enough of a do-it-yourselfer (Serious understatement of the year for this KLUTZ!) to do my part to keep them in business, but I sure do choose local hardware stores over those big boxes any day when I can.) There’s also a great coffee shop, the beach, a botanical garden, parks…did I mention the public library?!? Ohhhh, I LOVE libraries. That’s gonna be my retirement activity, being a library regular. I’ll probably volunteer as well as read and enjoy the books. There’s a bar, too, though that’s not really my thing, and restaurants, high school, elementary school. I love that neighborhood. If I’d been looking for a house when I already had connections to my church, I’ll bet you I would have bought there. Yeah, the houses are small, but no smaller than the neighborhood of my first house. And the walkability score??? Catch this, 86 out of 100. And I think pretty decent bus service besides, and bike friendly roads. Love that neighborhood.
I think I would have stayed in a small house, rather than “buying up” for that kind of convenient neighborhood. Thing is, my actually purchased houses, both of them, were much closer to my old job. My new job…well, I’m working on figuring out the bus thing. Discipline. Must get up earlier. But you know, even that’s not so insurmountable as the bummer of getting home so much later than you can when driving your own vehicle. I’m thinking of making it “my” time for reading and “solitude.” Yeah, I know, solitude on public transportation might sound like a misnomer. It’s not “quiet” or “alone” but you can fade into anonymity and your own inner silence, if you try. I do try. I do do it! <smile>
Quite enough ado over (almost!) nothing. But seriously, check it out. walkscore.com. You don’t need to identify yourself, just plug in your address and voila! Enjoy!