I've never understood people who would disdain walking 500 meters to their local shops in favour of driving for 15 minutes to walk 500 meters across a featureless carpark to a shopping centre. DF and I walk everywhere, and what we can walk to nearby is the major factor in choosing where we live. (I also don't understand people who state that they have to drive because of poor public transport in their area - did they end up living there by accident?)
Anyway that's why I'm so excited by Walk Score. You can rate the walkability of anywhere to live based on proximity to essential services, as well as those that aren't essential but nice to have nonetheless, like bars. The site isn't perfect - trees make a huge difference to how pleasant a place is to walk around, but trees are difficult to quantify in this sort of project. Of more concern is the grocery store purported to be 120 meters from us not actually exisiting, and a nearby school actually being a driving school, which rather defeats the point. But still, residents of walk-friendly suburbs earn more and weigh less than the average resident of a McMansioned cartrap. It's always nice to have your choices validated.
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