Suburban Kids w/ Biblical Names

This clever tool brings some quantification to walkability competition, and there’s some good comments at City Comforts about the application and how different cities score.

bakersfieldwalkability.jpg

Above are the stats for my childhood home in Bakersfield, CA. Unsurprisingly, given its slightly-better-than-suburb-but-not-much status, its performance is mediocre. If the metric took into account design, B-town would fair worse since the streets are wide, mildly confusing, and missing connections, while public transit is insufficient. On the plus sign, the town has quality public schools, a fair amount of parks, and is very affordable — don’t mean to only talk shit. Plus, the weather their is ridiculous in the summer (100+ daily), so the planners had some justification in abandoning any pretense at walkability.

In contrast, my house in downtown San Luis Obispo, CA gets a 98, rivaling New York. Since SLO’s population is only ~60,000 (which is including the non-incorporated student dorms), I feel this points to how density and walkability can be achieved without needing any great absolute number of people.

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