Jim Duncan from Nest Realty just had a post about the Walk Score website. Given Latitude 38’s focus on building in the City of Charlottesville, I thought I would check out how our houses rate. Of the seven houses we have built in the last three years, our average score is 71 out of 100 – the exact average that Walk Score says is the average for Charlotteville! Pretty cool. However, Charlottesville Transit System does not have an open system to integrate with the Walk Score website, so that factor is not incorporated. I am curious how it would change if this were included in the algorithm.
This score is clearly only one subjective metric, but the website does seem to be a good tool (with Google maps being the underlying power) to show how connected and walkable a house is by looking at the types and locations of businesses around it. In our experience of showing our homes, there is a high demand for connectivity in neighborhoods, particularly from people moving from other larger cities where they have experience living close to services and amenities. The City has a fair amount of mixed zoning so that one can live close to commercial districts, although I believe there could be some pocket zoning allowed to bring in more walkable scale (eg one and two story) commercial into residential neighborhoods. At least to allow for corner stores, such as the new corner grocery Market Street Market or the numerous Belmont corner stores.