In case you haven’t noticed, I happen to think the METRO light rail system has and will continue to significantly change the way many people live in Phoenix, Tempe and in Mesa. Having been in the real estate business for the past 17 years, I have seen a LOT of changes in the industry.
I can recall a time when agents were outraged that “mls” information was available on the internet. Now, tools like our Diverse Solutions public home search tool make it easy for anyone to search for homes, 24 hours a day. In addition to home specifics, there are other tools that make it much easier for people to choose a lifestyle based on different criteria.
Enter “Walk Score.”
Walk score is a great tool we have used for quite some time to allow people to “score” a home based on it’s “walk-ability.” While I believe it is a great tool, I hadn’t really been quite as excited as one might think, mainly because their algorithm hadn’t included public transportation, mainly, light rail. Recently, that excitement has changed slightly as I have seen several blog posts about new transportation data being used in evaluating a Walk Score. The reason I say slightly is because the Phoenix Metro area does not yet have the super cool transit functionality built into the search. ( Flagstaff has it!?!) Currently, a search of homes within 1/2 mile of the light rail line in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa shows 446 homes for sale. (I generally use the 1/2 mile radius as a bench mark, as it has shown to be a distance that out performs homes further from the light rail line.)
Walk scores currently listed along the light rail line range from the 50’s to the upper 90’s. For instance, a home in Mesa, near the Sycamore Station shows a 55 Walk Score, yet it is well within a 1/2 mile radius from the light rail. Heading west, I found a respectable 80 walk score on a home in Tempe’s Hudson Manor but feel this might be a little low considering it’s densely populated area and proximity to public transportation ( lots of good restaurants nearby, too).
In Downtown Phoenix, places like 44 Monroe and the Orpheum Lofts score an impressive 98 Walk Score. Heading further north on Central, the Portland Place Condominiums scored an 89, yet are very close to the light rail and to some really cool restaurants, etc. Looking at single family homes along Central Avenue, I see that a home in the Ashland Place Historic District scored an 80 and a home in Willo came in at 82. These areas rock in relation to the light rail and will probably benefit greatly once we can get the transportation data to the guys at Walk Score.
Speaking of getting the data necessary to add transportation to the Walk Score system, there is a form we can all fill out to request our transit agency to submit a transit feed to make it happen. If you are interested in transportation or are interested in living near the light rail line, please fill out that form and let them know. The Walk Score feature is a lot of fun. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to buy or lease a home or if you just like playing around and being nosey. Give it a whirl… Our FREE, no hassle home search has a Walk Score tab where you can set the minimum score or just see how your area stacks up. Have some fun and let me know what you think.
Does public transportation help your walk ability?