Saturday, April 18, 2009

How Walkable is Kinnelon?

I came across this article in PSFK titled How Walkable is Your Neighborhood? from March 27, 2009 that had me thinking about Kinnelon, NJ, and our 'walkability.'

Now, on one hand, I fully accept that there aren't too many of us who can live around here without a car. Hills, craggy outcrops, wetlands, wells and septic systems mean that we aren't as densely settled as areas closer in to NYC. At the same time,though, given how we've been exploring and enjoying the many hikes around Smoke Rise and Kinnelon, I consider us tremendously walkable.

So, I was curious to obtain our score from

Smoke Rise received a pathetic 6 out of 100 whereas Kinnelon, NJ received a 15.

Butler, NJ received a score of 78. In other words, very walkable! [I'm not sure that WalkScore has fully factored in steep hills, though.]

I see some quirks in the system. You'll note that the Kinnelon Library doesn't show up as an option. Furthermore, the listing of resources includes inconsistencies [e.g., Pathmark appears on the map, but not in the listing of groceries, and LongFellows has to be closer than 2.6 miles if Stop&Shop is 1.9 miles].

However, the overall concept is intriguing and gets you thinking about how we might function in a more energy efficient or cooperative way...

What if there were jitney or carpool stops around the borough to get to/from Pathmark or the movie theater without having to get into an individual car? What if there were times of day or week when say Kiel Avenue were shut off to car traffic to encourage bicycling?

You get the picture. It might not be fully practical, but when you start experiencing the magic of the hikes and trails available in our neighborhood, it gets you thinking about 'what if' scenarios...

How 'bout you? What kind of scenarios come to mind when you consider 'what if?'

PS: Check out The WalkScore Blog which is a fun and practical read.

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