The folks at Walk Score have stepped up their game. Earlier this week, they released Transit Score (via: TCC’s tweeters), a similar tool that assesses a particular location’s access to transit. From what I can tell so far, Seattle’s transit scores are lower, across the board, than its walk scores. Or maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better; my walkable, bus-full neighborhood only scored in the 60s*. Sure, the service could be more frequent, but I ain’t complainin’–at least not right now. I’ll be happy if all of my routes stay off the chopping block.
Speaking of rating walkability and transit access…
I finally had occasion to use Estately. Yes, that’s right folks: We’re moving this weekend–five blocks from where we live now. (Too bad we don’t know enough bike nerds to help us do a Portland-style bike move.) But more on all that later. Besides spending lots of time packing, we’ll be in Internet limbo for a few days and focusing our attention on getting Chicklet and Busling settled in their new home. Posts will be infrequent** for the remainder of the month.
*According to Walkscore.com, a score in the 60’s = “good transit.”
**That is, less frequent than usual.
For several weeks now, I’ve been meaning to tell you about Estately.com, also known as the coolest real estate website on the internets. In addition to the standard stuff (price, square footage, number of bedrooms, type of property, etc.), it lets you base a home search on proximity to transit (!) and/or a neighborhood’s walkability. So, for example, a person could search for homes under 500k, within a quarter mile of a 27 stop (yes, you can filter by specific bus routes), in a neighborhood with a walk score between 80 and 100.
This is brilliant–and something I’ve been dreaming of for a long time. I think I’ve mentioned that where a person lives is the single most important factor in determining her happiness and success as a car-free type. And until now, finding a car-free-friendly (car hostile?) neighborhood has required a fair amount of research–especially for folks who are not familiar with the area. Estately doesn’t eliminate the need to research the neighborhoods you’re considering moving to, but it certainly helps to narrow the field.
Plus, it’s pretty addictive. I’ve been playing with it all evening–looking for homes that are near Link, near at least two bus lines, in neighborhoods with walk scores over 90… I think I might have to move just so I can take advantage of it.
For now, Estately.com serves all the major markets on the West Coast, Chicago, New York, and Atlanta. (More cities to come!) They don’t have plans to create a similar service for renters (I imagine it would be hard to fund and possibly to manage), but I’ll keep my eyes open.