I just saw this over at Magpie Musing, who got it from the Times: there's a website that calculates the "walkability" of your (or any other) address. So of course I clicked right over there and entered my address. Just a bit of information: we can walk to three grocery stores, three drugstores, and an entire 6-7 block street of boutiques, cafes, restaurants, consignment stores, and one vintage movie palace that shows movies just before they go to video. Not to mention the bus stop, the museum, and the several churches and one synagogue that we can walk to. We bought the house because of all that access, and while we don't always walk everywhere, we do make use of the neighborhood's amenities all the time.
So our walkability score? Is 75. Which, fine, I can live with--after all, I can't really walk to work (though I have ridden my bike), and there aren't really affordable clothing stores (except for the three consignment stores) in the neighborhood. But when I looked at what the website knew was within walking distance, I knew there was a problem. It lists, for example, one bookstore: "Quality Adult Books." While this is technically the closest bookstore to our house, it's not one I patronize. But then, there are at least four other bookstores well within walking distance--one specializing in children's books, one general interest, one used bookstore, and one specializing in fantasy and horror. Similarly, for groceries, it lists the specialty butcher shop that I've never set foot in, but none of the three grocery stores (one of which is an independent natural foods market).
OK, I just realized that it's only showing me the very closest of everything--but it's still missing my natural foods market, as well as the best of the consignment stores. And it's listing a gourmet shop as a school (because they have classes?). So, maybe not so bad as I thought, but still a work in progress, clearly.