Walker’s Paradise not found (yet).

Alright – just a short update today as I am going to try and write some posts for later this week and next week.

I’ve done a little bit more searching to find “walker’s paradise” here in Regina (for the backstory on this search, see this post).

So, by way of an update, I did some checking in Coronation Park as per Barb Saylor’s suggestion and found a few places with a walk score of 72, and one with 77 which puts it in the category of “Very Walkable”!  This is great!  Perhaps I will need to do more searching in the communities that are close to Albert and Broad Street.

As far as the elusive “Walker’s Paradise”, the closest I have come is a walkscore of 88 (just 2 points shy of glory) – which is the corner of Victoria Avenue and Albert Street.

I am still searching and trying to map more of the city.  If you have an address that you want to add to the map, comment below.

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Walker’s Paradise not found (yet).

8 thoughts on “Walker’s Paradise not found (yet).

  1. Am curious as to why the north side of 13th as you walk west from Albert wouldn’t rate a high score; I think the Cathedral’s main drag is one of the most walkable streets in the prairie provinces. It’s actually better than the much-trumpeted Broadway in Saskatoon because it is oriented east-west and is narrower, so better sheltered from north wind. With the range of services available, the clean and safe environment, the pleasant and engaging store frontages I would give this a ninety. I’ve walked Toronto, Montreal, New York, and I think 13th is a gem. Don’t undersell yourself, Regina!

    1. Hi Evan – you make very good points. One of the shortcomings of the Walkscore algorithm (which they acknowledge) is that it does not take into account the walking environment. Technically as long as there are lots of ammenities around the location, it is walkable. I think their reasoning is that a neighbourhood is walkable if the people can get what they need without the use of a car. They are trying to improve the program all the time, however, street based measures that you mention (orientation, street width, sidewalk width, safe, engaging storefronts, etc) are hard to evaluate on the scale that the program operates.

      I agree that there are lots of amazingly walkable places in this city – 13th avenue being one of them, but I am still curious if we can find Walkscore’s “Walker’s paradise” here. I’d love to hear more people’s thoughts on the streets and neighbourhoods that they find to be superbly walkable in this city, so keep the comments coming!

  2. Our place scored a 74. Not too shabby. (We’re on Rae nearish to Davin School.)

    There were a few things about it I found suspect, though. Transit wasn’t included because I guess Regina Transit information isn’t available to their site. So, I think we’d have scored better considering we’re very close to a lot of good transit stops.

    They also had for bookstore the Burns Stanley Church Supplies shop which just made me laugh. And for hardware they had the Sherwood Co-operative Association Ltd, which at 3.51 km away is walkable, I suppose, but not if you’re planning to bring any hardware home.

    I think I remember hearing about something like Walk Score on the Smart Cities podcast. Or maybe it was Walk Score….

  3. wourliem says:

    I think I’ve found walker’s paradise. I’ve been playing around with finding areas of Regina that would provide the amenities the walk score calculates. So I was able to find some examples in the 80s by connecting movie theatres, libraries and malls. Still no paradise. So I went in search of what paradise actually looks like. I tried 145 Cuba St. Wellington NZ one of my favourite urban experiences and sure enough paradise found, 100.

    What was different was the density and pattern of amenities. My Regina examples were depicted as very linear and probably only had one or two of any one category. In Wellington, cafes or restaurants in that area number in the dozens and they fall all around side streets and alleys.

    With a pattern in mind I went to find a place surrounded by options and came up with 2020 11th Ave which is the entrance to the Cornwall centre from Scarth Street.

    2020 11th Avenue=97
    1820 Hamilton Street =91
    2162 12th Avenue =91
    4034 Albert Street =85
    2507 Gordon Road=83
    6092 Rochdale Blvd =82

    I wonder if the google cars could go to the centre of say Wal Mart in the east end if the diversity of options would score well? The pattern would surround you, the only problem for a high score being the distance between buildings.

  4. Vlad says:

    Hi, my parents live on 2200 block of Rae Street in the Cathedral Area and they got a score of 92 which IS a Walkers Paradise so they can be found.

  5. Alright all you smarty pants-es… Since you are all so keen and have found myriad walker’s paradises in the downtown and Cathedral neighbourhoods, let’s try and find another walkers paradise outside of the core. I pose this challenge simply because it is common for the centre of cities to be the most walkable and I am interested to see if Regina conforms or contorts that theory.

    Let’s also continue our discussion about this method of tracking walkability. I think it is interesting that this algorithm only takes into account the quantity of ammenties (not quality, or many other metrics) within in a linear distance (i.e. “as the crow flies” and not actual walking distances), and I want us to critically analyse each place as being walkable. So, for example, 6092 Rochdale Blvd gets a highly walkable score – I want us to ask the question “is it?”. It very well may be, so let’s talk about the aspects of these locations that make them walkable.

    Amazing job everyone!

    1. wourliem says:

      Is 6092 Rochdale Blvd a good walking place???

      I’m not sure it is, I’m not too familiar with the area. My sense is that there is a good variety of amenities in the area but a person is likely limited to on side of the street or the other until they can find a cross walk. Rochdale isn’t a particularly wide boulevard, so crossing mid block might be possible in places. The strip isn’t that long either, which may create concentrations of pedestrians at lunch time for example, coming from Winston Knoll. The skate park also might help walkability, bringing a various foci for young people in reach of retail and restaurants.

      The major problem is most shops are hidden behind parking lots, more so with the mall-boxes on the south side of Rochdale, west of McCarthy. On a side note, I find it interesting how the mall has changed its orientation over time from McCarthy on its east side to Rochdale on the north.

      I know the south Albert locations much better. Crossing mid block anywhere along south Albert St. Again the majority of stores have parking in front, often without any way to get to them but by walking through the parking lot. The Book and Brier book store is a good example, from side walk to front door one must either walk through landscaping or up a steep, narrow drive way.

      The road is also much wider and at the south end, starting at the Canadian Tire and former Pizza Hut, service roads push the sidewalks even further apart with no crossing with a light between Gordon Rd. and 31st Ave (there is a crosswalk near the Canadian Tire).

      There is an emphasis, especially along South Albert, to separate traffic and people with a wide south of Parliament and a side walk built back from the curb with landscaping. The irony is that the consideration for pedestrians doesn’t follow if they should want to enter any business along the way. There are a few exceptions like Earls the Dairy Queen and Tim Hortons, but most put people among traffic in order to get to their front door.

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