Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Walkscoring" Places in Baltimore

The latest step toward developing a conceptual framework of 20-minute walkable neighborhoods connected by transit and biking includes an analysis of Walk Scores and Transit Scores for places in Baltimore. We used the list of places recorded at the 20-Minute Neighborhood Workshop, and included all of those which could be considered a neighborhood. Place like shopping centers, parks, and other non-residential destinations were not included. Neighborhoods that were not recorded at the workshop were also not included, but will be added later. 

For this analysis, we calculated the Walkscore and Transitscore for each neighborhood and created a table that presents the results at a glance. Then we sorted the table from highest to lowest Walk Score using the more refined StreetSmart Walkscore method. Street Smart uses a more sophisticated algorithm than the Standard "crow-fly distance" Walkscore. More details on how this works can be found here.

The table shows the results of the analysis. The best performing areas were color-coded as green, while areas of decreasing walkability (meaning fewer amenities to walk to and/or inadequate street network connectivity) are shown in shades of yellow and pink further down the list.

This table is not comprehensive, but provides a good starting point for constructing a network of 20-minute neighborhoods. 

What other places should be added to the list? Let us know and we will calculate their Walkscore and Transitscore.

Next up will be using the analysis to date to begin looking at scenarios for connecting places together via Primary Transit Network and bikeways.


  1. Is "Woodbury", listed, actually Woodberry? I recently moved from Canton to Woodberry/Clipper Mill and am disappointed in its walkability especially considering it has been often touted as a "TOD". I feel TOD should be synonymous with walkability.

  2. Yes that's a typo and should have read Woodberry - good catch! Clipper Mill is an extraordinary redevelopment that I think is perhaps the best example of an "unintentional" transit oriented development (TOD) in our region (unintentional by virtue of its proximity to the light rail stop rather than a conscious plan to do a TOD). That said, Clipper Mill has very limited mixed use and destinations that would boost its Walkscore because it's off the beaten path and doesn't have the kind of traffic volumes (vehicle or pedestrian) that attract retailers. Overall, Woodberry's relatively low Walkscore is a result of the fact that its an isolated enclave with challenging topography, a limited street network, and few retail or civic destinations within its boundaries. Also, it's just far enough from Hampden that the Walkscore algorithm does not capture those destinations on the Avenue, etc. I do think that over time, there's a good chance that more small scale retail and eating establishments may pop up in Clipper Mill and Woodberry as the area further revitalizes, resulting in a modest increase in its Walkscore.


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