Walkonomics, a UK based start-up, is excited to announce the launch of their new walkability app for Toronto. Walkonomics has brought it’s unique way of measuring walkability at street-level to the city of Toronto. While other walkability apps only measure how many destinations are within walking distance of a particular location, Walkonomics maps and rates each and every street for eight key walkability factors:
- Road safety;
- Easy to cross;
- Fear of crime;
- Smart & beautiful;
- Fun & relaxing.
With the help of the City of Toronto, Walkonomics has mapped and rated over 42,000 street segments in Toronto for their pedestrian-friendliness. We have been able to do this by analysing a large amount of Open Data from the city including:
- Traffic levels;
- Pedestrian accident locations;
- Crime statistics;
- Number of trees on each street;
- Slope of streets and;
- Locations of pedestrian crossings.
The Walkonomics app also allows local residents and communities to add their own ratings, reviews and ideas for improvement for each street. So people who actually walk these streets everyday, can give their own opinions on whether a street is pedestrian-friendly or not. The Walkonomics app is free to download and is available for iPhone and Android smartphones, as well as on the web.
Unsurprisingly many of Toronto’s walkways and trails gained the highest ratings of over 4 stars, including the Waterfront Trail and Highland Creek Trail. Yonge-Dundas Square was rated as pedestrian-friendly and other streets rated as walkable include Nina Street and Woodfield Road.
Some of the least pedestrian-friendly streets included Ellesmere Road, which has 6 lanes of traffic and very few pedestrian crossings, Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue East which has over seven lanes of traffic (Highways aren’t included as they are not designed for pedestrian use at all).
Walkable streets and neighbourhoods bring many benefits to cities and urban areas including reducing obesity: a recent study found that teenagers who live in walkable areas are less likely to be obese. Walkable streets also help to boost the economy, increasing retail sales by up to 80% and adding up to $45,000 to the value of a home. With the new Walkonomics app and data, residents and visitors to Toronto can find and rate the cities most walkable streets.
Images courtesy of Walkonomics and Doc Searls.
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