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Blogger Walk Scores Metro Rail Stops, Finds L.A. has Long Way to Go in Walkability

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Photo by mlanda7419 via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by mlanda7419 via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
For the past week, the blogger Chewie at Straight Outta Suburbia has been conducting a fun exercise by using Walk Score to calculate the walkability of every Metro rail stop (and the Orange Line busway). If you're not familiar with the web tool, it "calculates the walkability of an address based on the distance from your house to nearby amenities" and "measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking."

The red and purple lines are still to come, but Chewie has completed the Blue, Green, Gold and Orange lines, revealing some interesting results.

Overall, the Gold Line that runs from Pasadena to the Eastside via Union Station is the most walkable so far with a mean score of 79.5 (very walkable). Six stations individually earned more than 90 points, deeming those areas as a walker's paradise. If it were a year ago without the Eastside Extension, the line would have actually have a mean score of 84.6. And if you rate the mean of the Extension on its own, it comes out to 71.1. "I want to be fair to the Eastside Extension," wrote Chewie. "Since it's so new, it hasn't really had the chance to spur a lot of redevelopment yet (which might make things more walkable)."

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The Blue Line, which is the oldest line, scored a mean average of 73.7. Going station by station, the ends of the lines in downtown Los Angeles and downtown Long Beach scored the highest with the middle lines in South L.A. not doing as well.

"Disturbingly, the Imperial/Wilmington station, where the Blue and Green lines cross, is only in the "somewhat walkable" range," observes Chewie. "The intersection of two major transit lines is a logical place for intense development, but for some reason, possibly fear about the neighborhood (Watts), development has not been forthcoming."

The Green Line between Norwalk and the South Bay did the worse with a sad mean average of 58.7 (Somewhat Walkable). LAX has the worst walkable score so far recorded: 37. Such a low score is nicknamed "Car Dependent" by Walkscore.

And in the Valley, the dedicated busway known as the Orange Line just barely scored a mean average of 70.9 ("Very Walkable"). Scores were all over the map with the end points -- North Hollywood and Warner Center -- getting scores in the 90s. But others were low like Balboa, which mainly serves recreational space and received a 49, and Pierce College with its 58.