Take a hike

Does anyone walk anymore? Anywhere? It’s tough in New Jersey, but with carbon footprint being a buzzword of 2007, coupled with sensible redevelopment, maybe it can make a comeback.

Walk Score is a unique Web site from Seattle-based Front Seat Management that promotes walkable neighborhoods and environmentally conscious living by calculating a “Walk Score.”

A score between 90-100 is “A walker’s paradise,” no need for a car; 70-90, “very walkable,” it’s possible to get by without a car; 50-70, “some walkable locations,” many everyday trips require a car, mass transit, or bike; and so on.

It calculates a score for specific addresses, which can vary (for instance, a walk score for West Cherry Street was 80 while a walk score for Maple Avenue was 71), but I played around by inputting just a town name, which in that case it seems to use the center of town.

It’s a computer program, so it’s not perfect; it can’t take into account hills or highways, i.e., Routes 1/9. And I’m not sure why Starbucks at Aviation Plaza in Linden is included in Rahway’s 74 Walk Score; surprisingly, less than 2 miles but that’s not exactly what I meant. And sometimes it can be outdated: The Flamingo Bar is listed yet it hadn’t been in operation for years and recently became a parking lot for Luciano’s on Main Street.

Walk Score is exactly the kind of site that can become obsessive (as evidenced by the list below). So I inputted some neighboring or comparable towns as well as those that Rahway likes to aspire to become, and others I found that scored similarly:

Metuchen, 97
Morristown, 95
Hoboken, 94

Red Bank, 91
Woodbridge, 86

New Brunswick, 85
Kenilworth, 80
Manville, 78
Roselle Park, 77
Rahway, 74
Carteret, 71
Garwood, 71
Linden, 68
Iselin, 64
Colonia, 62
Roselle, 60
Clark, 55
Edison, 54

2 thoughts on “Take a hike”

  1. Just had a chance to check out your blog Mark, you’re doing a fantastic job! You might want to add a bookmark option so people can Digg your posts, etc. I can e-mail you the code. – Kathy

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