Score 1 for Arlington...

July 26, 2011

WalkScore graphicWalk Score published its brand new ranking of America’s most walkable cities, and Arlington has been ranked 25th among America’s 50 largest cities.  Washington DC was ranked 7th of the top 10 most walkable cities. 

Walk Score’s walkability ranking is the only national, quantitative ranking of walkability in the U.S. Cities and neighborhoods are ranked on a scale of 0-100.  Walk Score is informed by an Advisory Board, which includes urban planning, environmental and technical experts. 

According to Walk Score, 86% of Arlington’s neighborhoods have a Walk Score of at least 50 out of 100.  What’s more, these Walk Score numbers make Arlington the most walkable jurisdiction in Virginia!  Coming in at the top of the Walk Score ranking for Arlington neighborhoods are Clarendon-Courthouse, Ballston-Virginia Square, and Lyon Village.  

What makes a neighborhood walkable?  Walk Score’s criteria:

  • A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
  • People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
  • Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
  • Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
  • Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.

Why does walkability matter? According to Walk Score…

Graphic: house and money“With rising gas prices, Americans are looking for alternatives to long commutes and driving around town to complete their errands,” said Walk Score CEO Josh Herst.  “America’s most walkable cities and  neighborhoods make it easy for residents to leave their cars at home more often. The latest real estate trends show that homes and apartments in walkable areas are in higher demand and are worth more than their less-walkable counterparts. According to independent research conducted by CEOs for Cities, one point of Walk Score is worth as much as $3,000 in home value.”

The impressive Walk Score ranking follows Arlington’s recent designation as a Walk Friendly Community by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.   A Walk Friendly Community is defined as a city or town that has shown a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies.  Arlington received a Gold Level Walk Friendly designation, one of only four communities to be honored at this level nationwide.

If you are interested in exploring the walkable neighborhoods listed on Walk Score, go online to and check out the Walkabouts.  WalkArlington’s Walkabouts are self-guided neighborhood walking tours that let you discover the beauty and history of Arlington’s neighborhoods.

And join WalkArlington for our next “live” Walkabout, a guided tour of Columbia Pike Town Center West  led by County Board Chairman Christopher Zimmerman, on Sunday, August 14.

Teresa Westfall, WalkArlington

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