livesoft wrote: ↑
Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:11 pm
^I guess if one has a job in one of those places or likes to drink alcohol, then your neighborhood would be very walkable.
I can walk to public parks containing all together almost 2 dozen different slides for kids, so my neighborhood is in a different kind of walkable location.
My home has a walk score of 5, but
-1) I can easily walk to several playgrounds and parks with nature trails, a bird sanctuary, a Nature Conservancy owned nature preserve, and a nearby farm where cows peacefully graze and they have a small farmstand selling a few veggies. Also, a lovely specialized private research library that is open to the public. All within 1/2 mile or so on bucolic low traffic suburban streets.
-2) The only commercial enterprise within a mile of me (not counting the farmstand) is a gas station convenience store, BUT there is a bus stop a block from my home with regular service (every 30 minutes) and a five minute ride gets me to a small area with a bunch of nice cafes, restaurants, and a handy urgent care, a 10 minute ride gets me to a supermarket, pharmacies, and my workplace, a 15 minute ride gets me to downtown nearby city with many cultural attractions (including traveling Broadway productions in a beautiful old restored theater, concerts in many indoor and outdoor venues, festivals celebrating many ethnicities, etc.), Amtrak station and Greyhound bus station. (Bus fare is 65 cents for seniors and $1.30 for younger adults. There are some very good deals for teens in the summer.)
-3) My young adult daughter who lives with me gets along very well without a car (uses the bus to get to work and recreation, occasionally supplemented by bikeshare in nice weather). She passes by a grocery store on her way home from work daily and often picks up stuff we need. (Since we are a small household, we don´t need huge amounts of groceries.) She has a license but does not use it. I have a standing offer to give her my second car (low mileage 2003 Honda Accord that runs great) and she would just have to pay for her own insurance as well as gas, repairs, etc., which she appreciates as an option (e.g., if she got a different job) but she feels no need to exercise the option at this time, so she just does not drive. (She is still listed on my policy but does not drive. If and when she decides to take me up on the offer of the car, she will take refresher driving lessons.) Since she was young, she has been a committed environmentalist and practices what she preaches when she can. Her example inspires me (though I do drive some!)
-4) We moved to this home almost 30 years ago and I managed to live here for the first two years with two young children without my driving AT ALL. (Admittedly, my husband--who enjoyed shopping--did all the grocery shopping, but I was the one to get the kids to all their various activities, story hour, gymnastics, medical and dental appointments, etc.) The second child had some developmental delays and was slow to walk so I was carrying her around in a backpack for quite some time. As she got bigger and heavier to carryaround, I did eventually learn to drive.
-5) Cab service has long been terrible around here, but Uber & LYFT finally arrived in 2017 and have been a game-changer. Also many large supermarkets provide grocery delivery services at a modest charge.
I could easily go car free. Main thing that stops me is that some of my destinations are places where I am fine waiting for the bus or an Uber/LYFT in daylight but not so comfortable being alone there after dark. If more folks would join me in taking the bus, I would be just fine. A 65-year-old woman waiting by herself at a deserted bus stop in the dark is just too easy a target.
Walk score of 5 just does not capture our reality of living here. That said, most of my neighbors drive EVERYWHERE. In fact, most is really virtually all. My daughter and I are viewed as eccentric folks for walking, biking, and using the bus. Other folks seem to view walking as something you do with your dog or for exercise, not for going to destinations.
Edited to add: I could move a few miles away and live in neighborhoods with walks scores in the 90s. Unfortunately, those are the same neighborhoods where I am afraid to wait alone for a bus late at night. It takes a critical mass of other pedestrians on the street to feel safe.