Walk Score incorporates transit, real estate industry takes note
Posted November 6, 2009
Walk Score keeps getting better, and it was already very good. With assistance from the Rockefeller Foundation, the locational rating system has now incorporated transit service data from 40 metro regions into its service, so that its maps reflect this key measure of urbanity. In the past, this had been one of the few large deficiencies in the system, which rates the "walkability" of any given address in the country, as measured by its proximity to a range of neighborhood assets like parks, schools, and shops.
The service is working on incorporating the transit data into its scoring system, so that locations with better transit access will receive higher scores.
The two maps above show, at the top, my residential neighborhood in northwest DC, which has a "very walkable" rating of 80 out of 100 points. The lower one shows NRDC's downtown DC neighborhood, a "walker's paradise" scoring 98. In both cases you can see the location of nearby services and amenities; I've circled the transit stops in red.
It is extremely encouraging that Walk Score is fast becoming a staple of the real estate industry, with the system helpfully supplying a "real estate tile" that can be incorporated into sellers' websites. As a result, according to Thursday's post on Walk Score's official blog, "ZipRealty, LPS Real Estate Group (formerly FNRES and Cyberhomes), Windermere, San Francisco Chronicle, and hundreds of other real estate sites that use the Walk Score Real Estate Tile are now showing nearby public transit powered by Walk Score."
The post continues:
"Not only is transit a key component of the car-lite lifestyle, but homes near transit may be better investments.
"In Denver, homes within 1/2 mile of light rail appreciated more than 17% while the overall Denver housing market fell more than 7%. Colorado residents can see transit powered by Walk Score on ColoProperty and REcolorado."
"Accessible public transit plays a significant role in the decision making process for many home buyers," said Patrick Lashinsky, CEO and President of ZipRealty, which operates in 36 major markets, in a press release. "This added feature from Walk Score makes it easier for our clients to make an informed decision from the start of the search."
Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment. For more posts, see his blog's home page.
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