WalkScore, the web site that ranks the walkability of a location based on the accessibility of nearby amenities, has added some new features.
First, the WalkScore number itself is becoming more accurate with new tweaks such as measuring actual as opposed to as-the-crow-flies distances and incorporating pedestrian friendliness metrics such as intersection density and block length.
In addition, as of today the site has added some new bells and whistles that allow it to give a more complete picture of the relationship between location and transportation.
Transit Score, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, is the most notable new addition. Open transit data has allowed the site to calculate a score of service quality for addresses in more than 40 metropolitan areas, including Washington. In addition to a Walk Score number, addresses in these cities now have Transit Score numbers, as well. This number is calculated by assigning a “usefulness” value to nearby transit based on its mode, frequency and distance to nearest stop.
The site also features custom commute reports, allowing users to compare their commutes by foot, bike, transit and automobile. Using data from real estate website Zillow and the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s Housing+Affordability Index, these commute profiles allow users to see how much of their monthly budget they can expect to spend on combined housing and transportation costs. The real estate search site ZipRealty has integrated these scores into all of their listings.
By providing these tools to a mass market looking for real estate, knowledge about the relationship between location and transportation can become more easily accessible. You don’t have to be an urbanist - or the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - to make the connection between transportation and the bottom line.