What Is Your Community Walkability Score?
I'm a big fan of the rating website, www.walkscore.com, but its algorithm relies mostly on the proximity of a house to stores and community resources. But to find walkability rating, it's not just about distance -- it's also about the quality and ease of the walk. Factors like wide sidewalks, shade trees, good lighting and flat topography matter a great deal in determining a walkability rating. I downloaded this walkability checklist from www.walkinginfo.org and walked through my own Watchung Plaza neighborhood in Montclair.
Here's what I found, both good and bad.
What makes Montclair a Walkable Community?
- Lot's of large trees to keep the sun off your back
- Most streets not to wide to cross
- Most streets have sidewalks
- Streets and sidewalks are free of litter and debris
- No loose dogs
- Curb cuts in many sidewalks (for strollers and wheelchairs)
- Flat heading East toward the train station
Things to Improve...
- Many sidewalks uneven and cracked from tree roots
- Spotty lighting - some areas well lit, others not so much.
- Steep hill heading West toward the "Mont" of Montclair
- Tricky intersection at Park St. and Watchung Ave
How walkable is your neighborhood? Download the checklist and let me know.