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Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math 214

An anonymous reader writes: Dave Munson was thinking about moving, and had a couple broad requirements for a new home: it must be affordable, and its neighborhood must be walkable. Price is easy to chart, but how do you compare the walkability of hundreds of cities? Simple: use math. A website called Walk Score provides rough walkability ratings, but doesn't tell you much about affordability. Munson downloaded the data that went into a city's Walk Score, weighted the relevant variables, and mapped the top results. Then he looked for overlap with the map of areas in his price range. He says, "Capitol Hill, Seattle led the pack. To be honest, I was expecting something a smaller, affordable Midwest town or something, but it the highest scoring areas were usually just outside of major downtowns. Other top areas included Cambridge and Somerville outside of Boston, and the South End in Boston; Columbia Heights, Washington, DC; The Mission District, Lower Haight, and Russian Hill, San Francisco; Midtown, Atlanta; Greenwood, Dyker Heights, Kensington, and Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, where we used to live; Lake View, Chicago; and Five Points, Denver."
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Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

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  • by porsche911 ( 64841 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @07:03PM (#47686239)

    If Midtown Atlanta made the top 10 list for walkability you need to check your math.

  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @07:29PM (#47686341)
    I lived in Atlanta many years ago. Problem with "walkability" wasn't the distances from groceries/restaurants/etc, it was temperature during the summer months. Walking four blocks with groceries at 85+F (30C) would not be fun after a few weeks....
  • the math is flaky (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @07:30PM (#47686345)

    how do you get Cambridge, the mission district and Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn in the same list?

    i know people there and drive there once a month or so. it sucks. the schools suck. parts are close to the subway but large parts are a 30 minute walk. the stores within walking distance suck as well. unless you speak russian or chinese you won't fit in.

    with amazon prime it's cheaper to live in a car dependent area, drive to work, buy from amazon and drive grocery shopping once a week

  • by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @07:34PM (#47686363) Journal
    Thank goodness you Americans can carry guns so you're safer. We can't carry guns up here and, hey that's funny, I can walk almost anywhere here any time.
  • Midwestern Town (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16, 2014 @07:45PM (#47686399)

    To be honest, I was expecting something a smaller, affordable Midwest town or something, but it the highest scoring areas were usually just outside of major downtowns.

    Yeah, uh, no. In Midwest towns there's an expectation that you have a vehicle because rarely does the town you live in have all you need. Further, the cost of sidewalks is shifted mostly (if not entirely) on the property owner including things like snow removal (not that many people actually follow that)--because taxpayers don't want to have to pay for the miles and miles of sidewalk*. The biggest thing, though, is that as to the first point, the inverse is true in downtown areas--it's more expected you don't have a vehicle because everyone have a vehicle would be an unworkable traffic issue even with shifting start/stop times for work to reduce congestion. Hence it's cheaper and more reasonable to fund sidewalks which can hold many more people during rush hour and don't require a bulky parking space to house a vehicle for 8 hrs/day.

    *They also don't like to pay for roads, hence the horrible state of roads as well. But at least the highways are used enough that people tolerate the cost of their repair.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @07:56PM (#47686445)

    His criteria for "affordable" was "people living there on average make about the same amount of money that I do, so I can probably live there on my income."

    Then he should also look for recent rapid price increases. People may be living in houses that they bought years ago, but could no longer afford if they were buying at today's prices. This doubly true in California, where long term owners even pay far less in property taxes than recent buyers living in identical houses.

    Also, if he wants to walk, then is likely to be a liberal [].

  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @08:01PM (#47686463) Journal

    Thank goodness you Americans can carry guns so you're safer. We can't carry guns up here and, hey that's funny, I can walk almost anywhere here any time.

    Actually, the areas with the most relaxed gun laws in the US, *are* the safest. And those areas where they put the most restrictions on guns, have the highest crime rates. It has been a pretty undeniable trend wherever it can be observed. And when the courts force certain cities or states to relax their gun restrictions, crime falls, dramatically.

    Also, countries with higher gun ownership rates than the US, have lower crime than many nations where guns are completely banned. In the UK, you're more likely to be stabbed than shot, but that doesn't make it a nice safe place.

  • by sillybilly ( 668960 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @08:42PM (#47686625)

    It's more like where the retards live have the highest violent crime rates, and that's why you wanna take away their guns, not the other way around, that because you take away their guns, they become retarded, and their crime rate goes up. Only retards get upset over being called names, or get upset over being told anything, to where they want hurt each other over what was said.

    PS. I did get upset too at a job, but not over what was told to me, but over collecting a lot of income and not being able to do diddly squat for it, even though the boss was like are you done yet, are you done yet. My advice was to take the friggin computer with java/oracle/citrix and put it straight into the dumpster, because it was holding up work too much, and make me not really earn my daily bread by wasting time, and that's what really pissed me off, not whatever they told me personally. There is like nothing you can tell me that upsets me, unless of course you're my supervisor or superior, and order me to do things like killing somebody, or lying or cheating, and such. And if we can't agree on what we do, and how we do it, I'm out of there. Which is why I hate working in teams. Or with stupid mandatory safety rules like metatarsal clown gear for safety equipment, but I would also not work in a place that's not flexible enough to allow for safety, such as bringing your own gloves, or duct tape for gloves that wear too fast, if you want to. But I'm willing to put up with the clown gear if that's what they see fit, as long as the place is productive, in a common sense way, and profitable.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @08:58PM (#47686671)

    when the millenials start to have kids instead of partying all the time and the kids go to school and they realize their precious snowflake is going to school with kids who bring in guns and curse and are dummer than farm animals and are bussed in from the bad city neighborhoods because of diversity or because the projects are two blocks away then,

    the millenials will forget all this walkability and carbon footprint nonsense and move out to places with good schools where precious snowflake who reads 2-3 grades above the average kid in the USA won't be in the same class as the dumb shits who barely know the alphabet in first grade. in the 80's when the baby boomers got tired of their camaros it was called White Flight and the cities with all their rentals became ghost towns. Today it's going to be the same except for more ethnicities doing it

    give it another 5-10 years and it will happen. the chicks will wake one day and hear their biological clock ticking louder than ever and dump all the man kids who do nothing but party

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @09:08PM (#47686723)

    Body temperature is 99F degrees, so 85 is nice and cool... You don't even need to sweat.

    I am sorry but that is simply a retarded statement, anyone who has ever lived in a place with high humidity is laughing at you.

    At that temperature walking four blocks means I'll need a shower when I get to where I'm going - too bad for everyone else at the store.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16, 2014 @09:23PM (#47686767)

    Correlation does not prove causation. You are suggesting that gun ownership leads to lower crime rates and citizen safety. It's just as likely that highly dangerous regions of the US put in place gun restrictions in an effort to do something about the crime rate.

    Also your comment about the UK is completely throwaway; this is very common US argumentation. 'The US is the best place and any other place's experience is irrelevant.' WTF "that doesn't make it a nice safe place"?? Actually the UK is both nice and it's safe. You are BSing so much on this one that your eyes are brown!

    In actual point of fact there are virtually no other developed countries with gun ownership rates, or policies like the US. The only ones that come to mind are Switzerland and Israel and they truly have different cultures and political situations than the US. If you don't want to float a canard then make some honest comparisons. Germany, France, UK, Canada, Australia. All have dramatically lower rates of murder, violent crime, and particularly gun-enabled crime. Also accidental shootings are much lower.

    Other locations with high rates of gun ownership include Somalia, Iraq, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, etc. None are particularly safe places.

    But I don't expect you to learn anything. You long ago made up your mind and the facts are irrelevant, aren't they?

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @09:39PM (#47686831) Journal

    Body temperature is 99F degrees, so 85 is nice and cool.

    Pretty sure there aren't many people who agree with you that 85 degrees is nice cool walking weather......if you're thinking about bringing cool water with you, then it's not 'nice and cool'. Also, if the thing that comes to mind is Death Valley ultramarathons, that's an indication that it might not be 'nice and cool.'

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.