How "walkable" is Abington? And does it matter?
Most modern regional and community planners would say it matters quite a bit.
Before the common availability of the automobile allowed Americans to start moving out to the suburbs, walking was a fact of daily life for most people. It still is, in major cities.
Out in the suburbs, though, the pattern of suburban neighborhood development has meant that trips to workplaces, schools, the neighborhood grocery store, and other places that make up our daily routines often (if not usually) require a car.
Our increasing dependence on automobiles has been blamed for increased pollution, higher rates of obesity, higher costs of living, and reduced community cohesion.
One website, Walk Score, has sought to "grade" the walkability of every neighborhood in the United States.
By Walk Score's reckoning, the Abington area is a better place to live than most American suburbs.
The central neighborhoods of Abington received a Walk Score of 68, at the upper end of the site's "Somewhat Walkable" range. Walk Score says that means "some amenities within walking distance."
The area's "Walker's Paradise" rating went to Glenside, where, supposedly, "Daily errands do not require a car."
Bringing up the rear was Roslyn, which is "Car-Dependent." Its score of 40 means that "few amenities are within walking distance."
We're very interested to learn what, if anything, locals make of these ratings. Do you live in one of the higher rated neighborhoods? How often do you use your car?