I live in the Bryant neighborhood of Lake Oswego and on these walks, I’ve managed to go to the grocery store, visit a coffee shop, pick up croissants at a local bakery, check the progress on the new Lakeridge Junior High, walk through several parks and nature trails, and enjoy the safety of miles and miles of pedestrian pathways.
I am not alone. One of the silver linings to Covid-19 is that it has made many of us appreciate “just old fashion walking.” A report by Kinder Rice predicts that this throwback to how we used to get around will change our cities going forward and how we live in them.
Walkability has become one of those tangibles that is affecting home values. Walkscore.com has created a system for measuring a neighborhood’s walkability by awarding points based on the distance to amenities. Strongtowns.org estimates that a single additional point of WalkScore is worth $3,500 in additional home value.
In looking at Lake Oswego, the neighborhoods with the highest walk scores are Evergreen, Foothills and Lakewood, all at 73 out of 100, which deems them very walkable and a location where most errands can be accomplished on foot.
But here’s where WalkScore needs some updating.
- They fail to include the First Addition, Old Town, and Country Club neighborhoods in their rankings, which I believe would rank up there in the 70s as well.
- They give my neighborhood, Bryant, a score of 43, even though as I described, I have been able to run a lot of errands on foot.
- Lake Grove neighborhood also only earns a score of 53, but have you driven along Boones Ferry Road lately? Efforts are underway to transform this strip into a welcoming and safe pedestrian and bicycle environment with access to all the amenities offered in this commercial center. Need to go the bank? Check. Got a hankering for good Italian food? Check. Wine tasting? Check. Latte? Check. Need to see a doctor? Check. Fido need a new leash? Check. Something tells me the Lake Grove neighborhood walkability score should be going up soon!
As the Kinder Rice report suggests, Covid-19 has gotten most of us to set out on foot to do many of the things we may have hopped in the car to do before. So, the walkability of our neighborhoods needs to be re-examined. Hopefully, some of the habits we’ve developed during this time will stay with us and we’ll find ourselves making fewer runs to the grocery store to pick up one item and more jaunts on foot that find us incorporating errands into our daily exercise.
See you on the pathways of Lake Oswego!
Thinking of moving in, out or around Lake Oswego? I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you. Please give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.