By Sarah Han
Walk Score, a website with a mission to "promote walkable neighborhoods," has deemed San Francisco the second most walkable city in the nation, just behind New York. The city's overall walk score is 83.9 out of 100, with a transit score of 80 and a bike score of 70.
San Francisco's three most walkable neighborhoods are: Chinatown (walk score 100, transit score 100, bike score 71), FiDi (99, 100, 79), and Downtown (99, 100, 73). As anyone who's spent some time in those neighborhoods can tell you, a 100 or 99 walk score doesn't necessarily translate to mean the most relaxing or pleasant walk (nor bus/bike ride). Sure, you're close to markets, restaurants, and shopping, but walking in those three areas also means dodging and weaving through crowds and around cars. Personally, not my idea of a great stroll.
Walk Score rates places by analyzing a neighborhood's routes to amenities. The closer to said spots on foot, the more points, which is why places like Downtown and Chinatown have such high scores. It also accounts for population density, street block length, and intersection intensity using various data sources, including Google, the U.S. Census, and Open Street Map.
Some of the less walkable areas in SF are the Outer Sunset (walk score of 74), Stonestown (69), and Diamond Heights (62). But in comparison, take note that the overall walk scores of nearby Silicon cities is way lower than these numbers: San Jose (48), Santa Clara (56), and Palo Alto (54). East Bay cities Berkeley (79) and Oakland (69) score a bit better.
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