Seattle gets a 74 on Walk Score’s walkability meter

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The Walkability Score uses residential proximity to retail, restaurants, and entertainment to make its assessment. | Photo via SEAtoday Staff

74. That’s what Seattle scored out of 100 on Walk Score’s walkability meter, making it a “very-walkable” city.

A Walk Score is a numeric ranking that represents the walkability of an address based on pedestrian-friendliness and access to businesses.

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Walk Score’s scale of walkability | Image via Walk Score

Points are given based on the distance between homes and businesses, including restaurants, retail, and entertainment. For example, the proximity of The Capital Grille to downtown residences would earn maximum points for being within a five-minute walk (or about a quarter mile). However, The Capital Grille would contribute zero points to the University District’s walk score, since it’s greater than a 30-minute walk away.
So, how does a whole city get one score? Seattle’s walkability score is found by calculating the average walkability of many residential addresses in a city, meaning the more Capital Grille + downtown neighborhood combinations, the better.

If you’re more likely to put the rubber to the road than make like Nancy Sinatra + strap on your walking boots, you’re in luck. Seattle only ranks slightly lower for bicyclists with an overall score of 71.

While our score is pretty decent, Seattle is still taking further steps towards becoming even more pedestrian-friendly with initiatives like the Vision Zero report and the Stay Healthy Streets programs.

In the meantime, here are Seattle’s top five most walkable + bikeable neighborhoods:

  • Downtown (Walk score: 98 | Bike score: 70 | Transit score: 100)
  • Chinatown-International District (Walk score: 98 | Bike score: 83 | Transit score: 100 )
  • Belltown (Walk score: 98 | Bike score: 76 | Transit score: 97)
  • Capitol Hill (Walk score: 97 | Bike score: 92 | Transit score: 77 )
  • South Lake Union (Walk score: 94 | Bike score: 80 | Transit score: 85)