VCU campus named most walkable neighborhood in Richmond

Photo by Ana Garvin
Photo by Ana Garvin
Photo by Ana Garvin
Photo by Ana Garvin

Last summer, Redfin Real Estate named Richmond one of the top-10 “Most Walkable Mid-Sized Cities” of 2015. Last week, Redfin followed up with a report on the “most walkable neighborhoods” in Richmond, ranking Monroe Park as number one.

Redfin created the “Walk Score” online tool to measure the walkability of any address and amenity. It takes into consideration the proximity to businesses including bars, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery and retail stores, among other factors.

“Points are awarded based on the distance to amenities in each category,” said Alina Ptaszynsk, a Redfin communications specialist. “Amenities within a five minute walk are given maximum points. A decay function is used to give points to more distant amenities, with no points given after a 30 minute walk.”

Earlier this year, Walk Score analyzed over 10 million locations and computed more than 2 billion walking routes for 2,500 U.S. cities. Redfin also ranked Richmond ninth among the most walkable mid-sized cities of 2015 with a total walk-score of 49.2.

Photo by Ana Garvin
Photo by Ana Garvin

Walk Score also measures pedestrian friendliness by analyzing population density and road metrics, such as block length and intersection density.

The tool pulls data from Google, Education.com, Open Street Map, the U.S. Census, Localeze and places added by the Walk Score user community.

Walk Score considers Monroe Park a “Walker’s Paradise” and estimates that the average resident can walk to an average of 24 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in five minutes.
In June, the median sale price increased 10.3 percent and sales were up 35.4 percent since 2014.
Local Redfin agent Warren Teller said that neighborhoods like Carytown and The Fan – which received Walk Score ratings of 92 and 89, respectively – are highly desirable among real-estate buyers and renters.

“The charming, historic homes, tree-lined streets and proximity to an array of shops and restaurants are a potent combination, creating strong demand and bidding wars,” Teller said.

According to Teller, new developments in the Monroe Ward, Jackson Ward, Shockoe Bottom and along the Riverfront have become main attractions for residents who want to live and work in the urban center.
“In terms of housing, the area has mostly rental options, though there are a few condo buildings in the VCU neighborhood with a median sale price a little over $250,000,” Teller said.
Walk Score does not directly report crime and homelessness, but it does factor in pedestrian friendliness.

The VCU Police Department recently put together a crime report dating from Aug. 1 to Oct. 28. The report listed 16 sex offense reports, two reports of robbery and four aggravated assaults on west campus.

Neighborhoods surrounding the Monroe Park campus, including Monroe Ward, Carver and The Fan, all ranked in the top-10 as well. Carver earned a Walk Score of 91 and was recognized for its variety of restaurants and coffee shops, including the popular Sugar Shack Donuts.

The Fan followed behind Carver with a score of 89. Students are often drawn to The Fan because of its balance of college students, families and older residents.

“The Fan includes many beautiful historic homes, including some truly grand properties along Monument Avenue, which have been home to many wealthy and famous residents in the city’s history,” Teller said. “Beyond the architecture, it remains and widely coveted neighborhood today thanks to the walkable lifestyle it offers.”


Sophia Belletti, Staff Writer

11802522_10207448112303567_588286187022952754_oSophia is a sophomore journalism major who writes for the Odyssey in addition to the news, sports and spectrum sections of the CT. Sophia also works in sales at Nordstrom and likes hiking and going to concerts. // Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

bellettisr@commonwealthtimes.org

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