Where Are the Walkable Neighborhoods in Charlottesville/Albemarle?

People want to be able to walk to stuff.

My question for my readers is this – is your neighborhood walkable?

Walkscore is a great resource, although it’s data is not always 100% accurate. A new tool, optimalhomelocation.com (h/t Lifehacker) offers the potential to find the “best” location for you to live …

Here’s my very rudimentary definition, based on personal biases and listening to my clients’ wants and needs –

Schools–(you can search by elementary school on my Charlottesville Home Search)

Walkable neighborhood with sidewalks
–(Walkscore can help, but you’re better off asking someone or driving by the area – or better yet, we can ride to the properties on bicycles!)

In range of a coffee shop/Main Street/grocery store/playground/park
— Google can help, but there’s no good mashup of MLS data with this information. The best suggestion I’ve seen is for a Google My Maps for each buyer/client.

Broadband— High speed internet access is an absolute must for most of my clients; unfortunately the local Board has been reluctant to make that a searchable option in the MLS. Even better would be if the providers – Comcast and Embarq (DSL) would provide an API that could be mashed-up/embedded in blogs and websites.

Curbside recycling
–The City of Charlottesville offers this service as part of the City trash program. — The County of Albemarle does not offer curbside recycling, but two private companies have recently sprung up to fill this need – My Recycling Club and Green Pieces Recycling, so if you’re in the Urban Ring of the County, you should be able to get recycling.

Now … If there was some way to combine Walkscore with Google Transit with Demographic data with a mashup of the Charlottesville MLS or other tool …

I have been saying for a long time that the Charlottesville area is becoming more segmented as the sub-areas become more self-sufficient. This is a very rough map that I did some time ago (holy cow! I just saw that it has more than 15k views in Google!) – but breaking this down into “walk- or bike – ability” is something that can not yet be done by software.

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  1. spokes December 18, 2008 at 14:26

    I think the walkability quotient also needs to factor in time of year. For example, I work next to Bodo’s on Emmet. I am presently driving the mile to my work not because of the weather or temperature, but because Emmet Street is dark and without sidewalks for the block between Bodo’s and Angus Road.
    So for at least the next couple of months, I am somewhat unwillingly contributing to the traffic issues on Emmet, because the City has never made that small section of Emmet safe for pedestrians and cyclists, and I am not willing to take the risk when it is dark at 5:00 PM. Therefore my walking range contracts during this time of year.

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  9. Sue Johnson March 23, 2024 at 09:01

    You don’t mention safety. Walkability is not just about sidewalks. I have family that live in a supposedly 81 walk score, but the sidewalks have been cut into to broaden the street so that are only 15 inches wide. That doesn’t even meet ADA standards. There are also, traffic lights that allow left turns when the pedestrian light is giving the okay to walk. As a newcomer to Charlottesville I am extremely disappointed with the lack of safe, walkable options, especially if you are not in the higher income level. : (


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