Status of Walking Index -
This measure combines two indicators related to how walkable each city is currently: (a) the total percent of residents whose commute mode was either walking or transit in the years 2000 and 2010 according to Census data, and (b) the pedestrian collision rate calculated per population and per miles of street. In general, cities that ranked high in this category tend to be more compact, have a dense network of safe walking routes, and a variety of land uses near residential neighborhoods. Other cities that ranked high have generally fewer people walking and a resulting lower rate of pedestrian vehicle collisions.
Policy and Infrastructure –
For this category, we gathered data on projects happening on the ground and balanced these with big picture goals we consider critical to enhancing walkability. Policies and implementation were intentionally combined to strike a balance between cities’ established big-picture goals and on-the-ground projects, recognizing that written policies are not always implemented and completed projects are not always initiated as a result of a policy.
BestWalk Field Data –
For this category, we developed a smart phone application (BestWALK) to allow residents across the region to collect and upload (“crowd source”) data regarding the walkability of streets and intersections through the completion of fact-based questions (“Is there a painted crosswalk”) and perceptual questions (“Do you feel safe here”).
Approximately 1,500 intersection and street assessments were completed. Due to this relatively small sample size, and because the BestWALK app will be improved over time, the field data accounted for only 10% of the total Scorecard score.