Calculate your active commute time with Walk Score

…it is greatly appreciated.


Yesterday, Walk Score announced Bike Score for a few select cities. No big surprises on the order of the scores, Minneapolis and Portland continue to bounce between the 1 and 2 spots. If you recall, Walks Score provides a rating of 0-100 for an address based on the walkability of that location. The higher the rating, the better the walkability. Real estate agents are beginning to use it and we once used it to map out City Commissioners’ home addresses (MW).

Walk Score

One of the new services the programmers at Walk Score have created is the rental search tool that filters results according to commute times by different modes of travel. So, put in the address of your work site and choose the commute time and mode of travel desired, and the results will return the listed rentals within that range. I’m not looking to move, but the tool is helpful to illustrate how Traverse City’s 14,000 plus residents are prime to be champions for more transportation choices.

Let’s say you work at the Governmental Center at 400 Boardman Avenue, where could you live that is still within a 20-minute walk?

20-minutes equates to about a mile walking at a leisurely pace of 3-mph, the speed that planners use to gauge walking times and distances people are willing to walk (I average about 3.7 mph, so distance will vary). As you can see below, if you choose to walk one-mile there is a wide area within Traverse City where you might find a home. At least 4, if not 6 different neighborhoods are within range. *

20 minute walk commute

If you’re willing to walk 40 minutes one-way (2-miles), then the range covers almost the entire city except for the outskirts in the hills. Admittedly, most people aren’t going to choose to walk 40-minutes one way, not because they are unable or they don’t have the time…it’s because for the last 50 years, in some people’s opinions anyway, walking has been trained out of us (Slate).

40 minute walk commute

Still, mapping where most Americans mentally, if not physically, are, shows that a 10-minute walking commute provides a lot of habitat for a promising city or county employee working at 400 Boardman Ave. The walkable area would even include the soon to be built Depot Property. Not to mention, the amenities found within this walking cloud are robust: parkland, grocery shopping, bars, restaurants, nightlife, a river, Lake Michigan beaches…not a bad living.

10 minute walk commute


What’s your walking cloud look like?


Are there any surprises? What’s more in range than you thought it was?  

For comparison, the Walk Score tool also creates a commute range for bicycling, driving and for transit. The latter isn’t available yet for Traverse City, but if you choose to pedal to work your optional ranges really expand. And, despite the disconnects in infrastructure, the City is a pretty pleasant place to pedal around. These are the 15 and 20 minute bike clouds for 400 Boardman Ave. for riding at a leisurely 10-mph pace.

15 minute bike commute

20 minute bike commute


 Apartment search tool demo:

* Walk Score apartment finder allows you to filter for other amenities you want to have in walking distance. I chose all of them in the above searches to remove the current listings in Traverse City for cleaner looking maps. 


  1. May 15, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Neat way to to think about picking your place to live.

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