Walk Score Ranks the Bikeability of Every Address in 36 Cities

Walk Score came out with its bikeability rankings in the spring, but they were only at the citywide level. If you wanted to plug in your address and come up with a custom rating for your own address, like you can with Walk Score, the system wasn’t quite ready. That all changes today. Using an algorithm that takes into account factors including bike infrastructure, topography, and the number of cyclists on the streets, Walk Score has released “Bike Scores” for addresses in 25 American cities and 11 Canadian cities.

It looks like there's a hunger for bicycling in Cincinnati despite the lack of high-quality bike lanes. Photo: ##http://old.urbancincy.com/2010/05/cincinnati-aims-to-double-number-of.html##Urban Cincy##

To select which cities would get address-specific Bike Score capability first, Walk Score asked people to vote, and the cities where people were clamoring for information turn out not to be the top cycling cities in the country. Cincinnati topped the voting and its citywide Bike Score is a relatively meager 37. A lot of the top vote-getting cities are places with low overall Bike Scores — maybe this data release will help advocates there press for better bike infrastructure.

Walk Score’s first 25 bike-scored U.S. cities include the top 10 vote-getters, the top 10 most bikeable cities they had scored this spring, and five others selected for mysterious reasons.

The full list is:

  • Cincinnati = Bike Score 37
  • Austin = Bike Score 45
  • Pittsburgh = Bike Score 39
  • Philadelphia = Bike Score 68
  • Miami = Bike Score 57
  • Oakland = Bike Score 57
  • Houston = Bike Score 49
  • Los Angeles = Bike Score 54
  • Eugene = Bike Score 75
  • San Diego = Bike Score 48
  • Ann Arbor =Bike Score 76
  • Boulder = Bike Score 86
  • Fort Collins = Bike Score 78
  • Tempe = Bike Score 75
  • Tyler = Bike Score 38

  • Minneapolis = Bike Score 79
  • Portland = Bike Score 70
  • San Francisco = Bike Score 70
  • Boston = Bike Score 68
  • Madison = Bike Score 67
  • Washington, DC = Bike Score 65
  • Seattle = Bike Score 64
  • Tucson = Bike Score 64
  • New York = Bike Score 62
  • Chicago = Bike Score 62

Walk Score also scored some major landmarks “for fun,” giving the US Capitol a Bike Score of 89, Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell a Bike Score of 96, and UCLA a Bike Score of 55.

They also mapped bike-share locations in every city that has a system, whether or not it’s one of the 25 fully scored cities.

  • Anonymous

    There is no way that San Francisco is even remotely close to being as bikeable as Portland, let alone more bikeable than Seattle or New York. I usually trust walk score, but I am not a believe. I’ve biked a lot in all cities and SF is wayyy behind. Ever ride on Mission south of Cezar Chavez? Or any almost any other street anywhere else in the city? Yeah…..

  • Kevin

    I’m pretty skeptical too. SF is so car-choked I’m question how these “bikability” measures were made.

  • Bjorn

    People who say Portland is very bike-able are generally refering to the 2/3 of portland that is west of Interstate 205, once you get into outer east portland you might as well be in Florida.  If you look at their bike map you see that portland’s great scores in the inner city are being dragged down by poor scores in east portland.

  • Mel

    I wonder why BikeScore doesn’t opt to turn on the “Bicycling”
    layer in their Google maps, so you could see where the bike lanes actually are.
    I would think that would be really helpful, in addition to the heat map.

  • This clearly illustrates that Cincinnatians want more bicycle infrastructure than what they currently have. ODOT and city leaders there need to get it together.

  • Anonymous

    Look at the ‘heat map’ for bikability. For south of CC, it gives a ‘green’ for the Valencia-Tiffany connection, and ‘yellow’ for that Chenery link-up. While I’d add a big red dot on the CC bike paths that intersect the highway onramps, now that those separated bike lanes are in, ‘green’ can qualify. That seems fair.

  • Noel B

    Walkscore.com continues to make the same amateur hour mistake of ranking cities that have vastly different geographic scales based on the percentage that is walkable/bikeable. When they first launched, San Fran was rated the most walkable city by a wide margin. If you rated similar geographically sized areas at the centered in NY/San Fran, you would receive very, very different ratings.

  • Ted King

    Re : The “mysterious reasons” five – they’re college towns.
    Ann Arbor, MI – Univ. of Mich.
    Boulder, CO – Univ. of Colo.
    Ft. Collins, CO – Colo. State Univ.
    Tempe, AZ – Ariz. State Univ.
    Tyler, TX – Univ. of Texas

    Several of the above also have sizable community colleges. Thought exercise for the day – is San Francisco, CA a college town ? Let’s see – UCBX, UCSF, SFState, CCSF, USF, UCBLaw, Golden Gate, etc.

  • San Francisco isn’t nearly the college town that Boston or even Seattle are.  (UC Berkeley is most definitely in Berkeley, not SF.)  I would guess even NYC has more college students per capita. But San Francisco does have an amazing number of post-college twenty-somethings who bike.

    After biking in Seattle last summer (wanted to go from Ballard to the main public library), I would say San Francisco is more bikable.  Burke-Gilman may be great but biking downtown ranges from marginal to pretty awful.

  • shelleyjr

    Where is Albuquerque, New Mexico??? We have over 500 miles of bike paths and was rated number one in both 2005 and 2006 as the most bike friendly. There is NOT one other city in the USA with as many bike paths/lanes in the entire country! Get ABQ on bike score!

  • Ted King

    @KarenLynnAllen:disqus Ma’am,I agree that UCB’s main campus is in Berkeley, CA. What I was referring to was the presence of a satellite campus and an affiliate :
    UCB Extension (UCBX)
    http://extension.berkeley.edu/loc/sf.html
    UCHastings
    http://www.uchastings.edu

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