Asheville is kind of walkable, if the ratings from the site Walk Score are any indication. The site, which encourages walkable neighborhoods and rates them, scores Asheville overall at a 57 or “somewhat walkable.”
Walk Score, developed by the Seattle, Wash.-based software company Front Seat, measures how walkable cities, neighborhoods and individual properties are by their proximity to nearby services. Asheville’s score compares favorably with other North Carolina cities such as Charlotte (average score 44), Greensboro (49), Raleigh (49), Durham (44) and Wilmington (53). Though, while Asheville may have defeated Portland, Ore., for the Beer City USA title, that city ranks far higher on Walk Score’s calculus (71).
Of course, within Asheville, neighborhoods’ walkability varies drastically. Downtown is a “walker’s paradise” with scores in the high 90s; just nearby Montford scores a 62 and Clingman Avenue an 80. Over in West Asheville, Haywood Road scores 68, Burton Street a 60. Then there’s Haw Creek, which rates a 14, or Pisgah View at 22.
Like all attempts to quantify this sort of thing, Walk Score has its own criteria, specifically in its emphasis on proximity to business. In measuring Asheville’s walkability, what criteria would you use, and how does the city rate in your opinion?
— David Forbes, senior news reporter