In the recent print mailing, we mentioned that Emerson-Garfield scores a 73 (out of a possible 100) on WalkScore.com. That places our neighborhood third in Spokane (which nets a meager 54) — just behind Riverside/Downtown (92) and Browne’s Addition (76).
But what exactly is a walk score?
It’s an international measure of walkability and ease of pedestrian/commuter access to amenities like restaurants, stores, parks, cultural hubs, bus stops, and more. It’s primarily used by realtors to assess the amenities near an address (which will have an effect on its value).
Broadly speaking, the higher the walk score, the less you’ll need a car, and consequently the more of a “community” feeling there will be. Walking or cycling instead of driving generally means more interaction with the neighbors and small businesses around you — and ultimately that’s better for our health, our economy, our property values, and the environment.
But we shouldn’t take Emerson-Garfield’s reassuring walk score for granted. All it takes is one bad planning idea or concentrated criminal activity to ruin a neighborhood’s accessibility. So it’s a quality of our neighborhood that we should work to preserve.
With that in mind, we’ve added a “Walk Score” page to the website. You can keep an eye on how it changes over time, and you can even type in your own address to see your home’s walk score.