That’s according to the website Walk Score, which rates cities and neighborhoods on their walkability. Its algorithm takes into account how far people have to walk to reach the nearest amenities — coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, theaters and the like. Heat maps give a visual depiction, with green being the most walkable and red being the least.
Dallas has a rating of 47, and in Walk Score’s rankings, that makes it “car dependent.” No real surprise there. The score makes it the 30th most walkable city in the United States. (Slate has a story on the five most and least walkable U.S. cities.)
Walk Score also breaks cities down into walkable neighborhoods. Downtown, Uptown and Oak Lawn areas top the list in Dallas. North Dallas — which Walk Score defines as between the Tollway and Central Expressway, and between roughly Northwest Highway and LBJ — ranks as the 13th most walkable neighborhood in the city with a score of 54, making it “somewhat walkable.” The area Walk Score calls Preston Hollow is west of the Tollway and, oddly, stretches all the way past I-35. Its walkability rank in Dallas is 15th with a score of 50, barely putting it in the “somewhat walkable” category.
There are a few bright green spots, however, in the midst of a pretty red neighborhood map. One is at NorthPark Center, another near Medical City and another at Preston Royal Village. It’s true that those areas have a number of business amenities close together, but I don’t know that many nearby residents or employees walk to them.
Walk Score’s disclaimer is that it doesn’t take into account factors such as street design, safety from crime and accidents, or topography. Slate also has an interesting story on the software engineers behind Walk Score, its embrace by Realtors and urban planners, and whether Americans actually care about walkability.
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