Looking at a sprawling map of Salt Lake City, you might wonder if we have any walkable communities. One way to find out is at Walk Score. If you type in an address, you will get back a score between 0 and 100, based on the distance from that house to nearby amenities. A score of 90-100 indicates a walker oasis, where most errands can be accomplished on foot. A score between 70 and 89 indicates an area that is very walkable, where you might be able to get by without a car. Between 50 and 69, there may be some amenities within walking distance, but everyday trips will require a car or public transportation. With a score below 24, the only place you’ll be walking is to your car.
I put a couple of properties to the Walk Score test. 163 W 200 S in the Patrick Lofts scored 95, a walker paradise. This is in downtown Salt Lake City, so no surprise here. But what about outlying communities? Is there a walking oasis in West Jordan.? I tried 2096 Westfield Circle and surprisingly the score came back 71, not an oasis but highly walkable.
Unlike some members of the Utah Legislature, I believe in global warming. And like most people who live in Salt Lake City, I’m bothered that on winter days we’re sometimes breathing the most polluted air in the country. More walking and less driving is a start.