How It Doesn't Work: Known Issues with Walk Score
We'll be the first to admit that Walk Score is an approximation of walkability. There are a number of factors that contribute to walkability that are not part of our algorithm:
- Street design: Sidewalks and safe crossings are essential to walkability. Appropriate automobile speeds, trees, and other features also help.
- Safety from crime and crashes: How much crime is in the neighborhood? How many traffic accidents are there? Are streets well-lit?
- Pedestrian-friendly community design: Are there narrow streets with buildings close to the sidewalk and parking relegated to the back? Are destinations clustered together?
- Topography: Hills can make walking difficult, especially if you're carrying groceries.
- Weather: In some places it's just too hot or cold to walk regularly.
As MarlonBain said, "You should use the Web 3.0 app called going outside and investigating the world for yourself" before deciding whether a neighborhood is walkable! And if you can't go there in person, Walk Score includes Google Street View so you can evaluate walkability factors such as sidewalks that our algorithm doesn't yet include.
Walk Score Improvements
We are developing a "Street Smart" Walk Score that takes walking distances, intersection density, block length, etc. into account when calculating Walk Scores.
International Support: Walk Score is officially supported in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. We've heard from our users that the data we rely on is less accurate outside of the United States.