How walkable is your neighborhood?
WalkScore will calculate it for you, based on data in GoogleMaps. Dupont Circle scores 100. Capitol Hill 91, Brookland in the mid to high 60s and low 70s. There are defects in the scoring model, see How It Doesn't Work, but overall it works pretty well:
Your WalkScore is a number between 0 and 100. The walkability of an address depends on how far you are comfortable walking—after all, everything is within walking distance if you have the time. Here are general guidelines for interpreting your score:
90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a car.
25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving is a must.
0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!
From Walkable Neighborhoods on the WalkScore website:
Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stroll home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your car—or you don't own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors.
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
Walkable communities tend to have the following characteristics:
A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a discernable center, whether it's a shopping district, a main street, or a public space.
Density: The neighborhood is compact, rather than spread out, which brings people closer to stores and jobs and makes public transportation more cost effective.
Mixed income, mixed use: Housing is provided for everyone who works in the neighborhood: young and old, singles and families, rich and poor. Businesses and residences are located near each other.
Parks and public space: There are plenty of public places to gather and play.
Accessibility: The neighborhood is accessible to everyone and has wheelchair access, plenty of benches with shade, sidewalks on all streets, etc.
Well connected, speed controlled streets: Streets form a connected grid that improves traffic by providing many routes to any destination. Streets are narrow to control speed, and shaded by trees to protect pedestrians.
Pedestrian-centric design: Buildings are placed close to the street to cater to foot traffic, with parking lots relegated to the back.
Close schools and workplaces: Schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.