Least Walkable Neighborhood in Manhattan

Several other NYC based blogs have been raving about Walk Score, a website that purports to be able to score your neighborhood based on its walkability. First off… I tried 20 addresses in Manhattan and never once got a score below 95… so… yeah. I pretty much knew that. New York is great for walking, especially Manhattan.

Let’s be honest though… I don’t find my neighborhood to be as walkable as others. They score the area around my apartment as a 95. I’d say that’s WAY too high. Their algorithms are supposed to judge a neighborhood based on availability of schools, parks and public spaces, well connected streets, a pedestrian centric design… yeah, find me a place in Manhattan that DOESN’T fit all those criteria. So I searched… the Village is decentralized and seemed to work counter to what they are looking for. Nope. Way over on the East Side? Nope. Financial District? Nope. Around the Battery? Nope. All these places scored 95 or better. Upper Manhattan? Maybe… just maybe. Seaman Ave? Supremely walkable it seems. Dyckman? Walkable. Vermilea, Sherman, Post and Nagle too. For a moment it seemed that Manhattan was the most perfectly walkable place in America… but then I found it. W 220th Street, at the far end of the island, pretty much under a bridge, and less than a block long. Perfect. W 220th’s score? 80. 80% walkable.

So I’ve decided that Walk Score is broken. At least for New York City. Who cares how many schools or hardware stores are within walking distance of your apartment? Tell me the things that really matter to walkability in NYC… Are there likely to be 5000 tourists trying to get a glimpse of who is on TRL in the way? Forget drug stores, how many drug DEALERS are there? Movie theatres? Don’t need ’em. Find me the people selling bootlegs. Tell me how many piles of garbage, clusters of dog poop, or busted bicycles I’ll have to step over. How many sleeping homeless people I’ll have to dodge. How many roped off sidewalk detours are there? How much of the sidewalk is covered by scaffolding? This is the sort of thing that helps me determine walkability in my neighborhoods.

So what does your ‘hood score? How accurate do you think it is? What criteria would you add to the list?

1 Comment so far

  1. jenny (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

    Yeah the walkscore definition of “grocery store” is different from my definition. And you can’t tell me the area around Javitz is more walkable than most most residential neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens (specifically, where I live, Astoria) yet the scores for Javitz are 95!

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.