Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pedestrians and bikers: Rate your 'hood

Posted By on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 2:33 PM

The North Carolina Department of Transportation wants you to rate your neighborhood. It'll take about five minutes to answer their 30 question survey, which you'll find here.

Though, they're not the only organization rating our 'hoods. The latest issue of Urban Farm magazine (tag line: Sustainable City Living) has an article called "Keeping Score." In it, they feature the WalkScore.com website where they've already ranked communities. All you have to do is enter your address to find out how sustainable your neighborhood's transportation options are.

I checked out my 'hood, in the Mountain Island Lake area (NW Charlotte), and it received a 26 out of a possible 100, earning it the label "car dependent." That's no surprise. While we have great sidewalks within our neighborhoods, and a couple of places to walk to (library, gas station, doctor's offices and one restaurant), we have to cross a busy street where people routinely speed. And, forget walking to one of the three grocery stores, the cafe, the cleaners, etc. — all within a mile. There are no sidewalks to get you there from here. On top of that, there's only one bus ... a commuter bus that hauls people to the middle of Uptown, and that's it. Boo.

On the upside, the site claims Charlotte's average walkability score is 44 ... which is better, but it can be better still. Don't you think?

So, how does your 'hood rank? Let the state know so they can help improve its walkability (and bikeability) score. With gas prices pushing ever upward, it's definitely something to consider.

Here's an interesting video from University College Dublin about sustainable transportation for large transportation (think trucking) systems:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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