chicago has a walk score

Recently, I was looking at homes for sale in my neighborhood and I noticed some of the listings include a walk score. This is something new to me. Time for some research.

Walk Score - how does your city rank?

Using the website Walk Score, Chicago, I found Chicago is the 6th most walkable large city in the US with 2,695,598 residents. Chicago’s walk score is 75 out of 100 points – a very walkable place. Individual neighborhoods have walk scores also, for instance my neighborhood – Edison Park rated a 65 for somewhat walkable.

What is a walk score? A walk score measures the “walkability” or the “walk friendliness” of a neighborhood. How nice. Think about your neighborhood…are people out and about? Do they mill and congregate in conversation? Are they populating the parks and shopping centers? Do people feel safe walking at night?

The Walk Score Company measures some key factors in neighborhoods. They then use this data to calculate the Walk Score of an area or address. Here are some of the factors they measure –

  • Walkable access to parks, recreation and places where people can meet and play.
  • Available and regular public transportation.
  • An established “city center” where residents can walk to local restaurants, coffee shops, entertainment, services & shopping.
  • A local population that is sufficient to sustain such businesses.
  • Schools and jobs within walking distance.
  • An infrastructure that includes paved streets and walkways for pedestrians and public transit.
  • Levels of mixed income & mixed use—affordable housing near businesses.

Once they decide upon a score, the following chart interprets the score:

90–100 Walker’s Paradise
Daily errands do not require a car
70–89 Very Walkable
Most errands can be accomplished on foot
50–69 Somewhat Walkable
Some errands can be accomplished on foot
25–49 Car-Dependent
Most errands require a car
0–24 Car-Dependent
Almost all errands require a car

Here are just a few reasons why high Walk Score areas are gaining in popularity:

  • Fewer cars mean fewer harmful emissions, less congestion & fewer parking hassles.
  • Walking is not only great for our health, but creates zero pollution.
  • Having nearby restaurants, services and shopping save us time and provide great social environments.
  • Being closer to the workplace saves both time and money.
  • Local parks and community space within walking distance encourage us to play more and provide great outdoor space for children and pets.
  • It has been suggested that a high walk score contributes to the value of a property — a nice benefit for owning a property with a high Walk Score address.


What is your neighborhood’s walk score?


4 thoughts on “chicago has a walk score

  1. I think my neighborhood is pretty high. I can walk almost everywhere. The market is two blocks away. I can get the train or bus to go to another town in 20 – 30 minutes. This is good since I don’t have a Japanese drivers license.


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