How Walkable Is Houston?
by: Edel Howlin, July 20, 2011 4:07:00 pm
Congratulations Houston we’re nearly 50 percent walkable. Ranking the city number 23 out of 50 metro areas. Not as good as number one city, New York at 85 percent, or number two city San Francisco at 84 percent, but not bad. However, as any local knows navigating your way around Houston on foot can be very different depending on the time of year.
Matt Lerner, who is Chief Technician Officer with Walk Score.com, says for some reason when it comes to walkability weather isn’t a factor.
"You know it’s funny weather matters less than people think. For example, you have cities like Minneapolis, which is a very cold city, but yet you see a lot of people walking and biking. What we’ve found at walk score is that the most important determining factor in terms of whether people walk, is whether you’re close to the kinds of things that people want to walk to on a daily basis."
By which Lerner means grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants and other amenities.
Individual neighborhoods were also ranked in this study. Topping that list is Montrose at 82 percent, Upper Kirby was at 78 and at the very bottom with 11 percent is Hunterwood in Northeast Houston.
Lerner believes this score can be pretty important when it comes to real estate value and buyer interest.
"We also had an interesting study done by a group called CEOs for Cities that showed that one point of walk score can be worth up to 3,000 dollars depending on the Metro area. The National Association of Realtors just released a study that shows that two thirds of home shoppers rate being within easy walking distance as a key factor in deciding where to live."
Walk Score.com defines a place as walkable if amenities are about a quarter of a mile away or less. Lerner says that one of the things that lowers the Houston average is the sprawling car-dependent neighborhoods.