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One of the best ways to stay in shape and give the planet a break from carbon emissions is by walking. In my old neighborhood, I walked and biked everywhere with my dog, since nearly everything was easily accessible, from the farmers' market to the public library to my favorite cafe. In my new neighborhood, there's a pretty major hill to contend with (actually the steepest street in the East Bay), as well as about a 3/4-mile walk each way to just get to the cafe or grocery store. I still do this walk about three or four times a week at least, but it's not really a neighborhood stroll — it's an expedition.

Curious about my new hood, I went to Walk Score, which calculates the walkability of an address, essentially measuring how easy it is to live without a car, or with minimal use of a car, in that particular neighborhood. My old neighborhood is the top map, while the new one is one the bottom. Just from looking at the map you can see that my old neighborhood has a lot more cafes, markets, libraries, gyms, etc., within walking distance.

To find out my neighborhoods' Walk Scores, as well as how this service works,

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If you want to see how walkable your neighborhood is, just enter your address. Walk Score will then pull up a map of your neighborhood, identifying all of the neighborhood ameneties, and scoring your neighborhood between 0 and 100. Here's the interpretation for the score:

• 90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
• 70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
• 50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.
• 25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.
• 0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!
• My old neighborhood scored a 75, while my new one scored only a 46! I'd have to agree with Walk Score's assessment; even though I walk in my neighborhood a lot, lugging a backpack of groceries back up 3/4 a mile of a steeply pitched road isn't my idea of fun. Usually when I do this walk, it's just to pick up a DVD or grab an iced coffee.

How does your neighborhood score? Go find out!

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my old place in downtown berkeley is a 98, but moving home dropped me down to 49. it's a lot better than i would've thought, but berkeley's far more entertaining & i didn't have to drive 20-30 miles to get to a bart station!
Francoisehardly 8 years
I got 50 something. It could definitely be better.
divinedebris 8 years
68...that's not bad. I'm excited for my new apartment. My mom's house is only 36, that sucks.
anniebananie 8 years
Mine got an 88 (really good specially for arkansas) but i'm moving in a few weeks to a 60 not bad really plus work will be .2 miles from home.
chatondeneige 8 years
I got a 22, but it included several places which have closed. Even some which closed before I moved here, so I wonder where they're getting their information from. I figure since I drive less than three miles most days, I'm pretty OK on my carbon footprint. :)
darkangel2305 8 years
baltimoregal I hate you! (lol ;) just kidding) but seriously your office will be walking distance?? I drive 40 minutes in the morning and 60 mins in the afternoon to get to mine! grrr so jealous right now :(
ahles 8 years
Old house got a 3 :) Cool site, though if you're using this for a carbon footprint it's gonna be misleading for those that farm/garden and don't need to go to town very often.
ahles 8 years
Old house got a 3 :)Cool site, though if you're using this for a carbon footprint it's gonna be misleading for those that farm/garden and don't need to go to town very often.
lgrego20 8 years
Yay! The 'hood I'll be moving to in a few short days got a 91. I'm sooo excited b/c I'm in walking distance to public transport and I'm a stone's throw (quite literally) from the grocery store, a book store, a library and a bunch of restaurants, as well as a park and several gyms. I'm getting excited just thinking about it:) The neighborhood from where I'm moving got a 68. I love walking, esp. when the weather is nice out + it's free exercise.
baltimoregal 8 years
Mine got a 74, although the grocery store it rated is more of a convenience store, and it's not a good idea to go to some of these areas at night (Druid Hill Park, I do have a very walkable neighborhood and sometimes only use my car during the week! Plus my office is moving to walking distance so soon I will only use my car a few times a week. Not bad for a city with bad public transit!!
ElizabethRae 8 years
What a cool site! I just moved from a 72 to a 25, but I'm not a big walker so I guess it doesn't matter. I always have to carry too much stuff to do errands on foot.
katie_c 8 years
my neighbourhood tallied up to a winning 98!
jossfan23 8 years
woo-hoo ... 86. and my last home a 85 (crazy that my suburban house is tied with my city apartment!) this is probably nit-picking - but there is a bit of debate going on whether walking everywhere really decreases carbon footprints. Energy is still be used (my burning calories, yay!). But if i'm not losing weight then I am replacing this energy with food. If i replace that walk with an orange transported to Philly from Florida that is a rather heavy carbon footprint compared to the little bit of gas to get me to the grocery store!
jossfan23 8 years
woo-hoo ... 86. and my last home a 85 (crazy that my suburban house is tied with my city apartment!)this is probably nit-picking - but there is a bit of debate going on whether walking everywhere really decreases carbon footprints. Energy is still be used (my burning calories, yay!). But if i'm not losing weight then I am replacing this energy with food. If i replace that walk with an orange transported to Philly from Florida that is a rather heavy carbon footprint compared to the little bit of gas to get me to the grocery store!
darkangel2305 8 years
I got an effing 15! I live in a rural area so this was a "duh" for me, but I'm still upset! I would love to walk more. When I lived in an apartment in a nice quite neighboorhood in Miami, I would walk to the movie theater and some restaurants... &&& I used to complain there wasnt enough (that address got a 69 BTW)
Zivanod 8 years
Oh, my neighbourhood scored a 92. Considering I live in downtown Toronto, I expected higher but it's nice to see it works for Canada.
LesleyP825 8 years
My neighborhood got a 74. Not bad at all! I do a ton of walking.
wren1 8 years
Mine got a 95, which is about what I'd expect. All categories were .27 or fewer miles away.
jasmint 8 years
I got a 63, but it feels like more in the 30 range because many of the places listed I'm not interested in and/or are heading towards a not-so-great part of town. I'd give anything to be in the 80+ range! I hate driving!
colleenb 8 years
ha! My neighborhood got a 97 and I complain that there's nothing there.

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