The fabled Greenway across our city has stalled (I just got word that the Peladeau park plans have been delayed by another year), the Bike-Ped Bridge to Bay Street has languished in litigation for years, the EBBC is accusing the city of reneging on commitments for bike-friendly improvements along San Pablo & even the ECCL plan wants to remove a bike path from its proposal. Despite all this, A recent ZipRealty (coincidentally a business whose headquarters are located in Emeryville) distributed a press release ranking Emeryville as having the highest Walkability/Affordability ratio score amongst cities close to San Francisco which include the nine counties considered within The Bay Area. Nonetheless, Walkability & Bike-ability still remain a key component of the vision of Emeryville and a goal of the General Plan.
ZipRealty partnered with WalkScore.com to create a formula for determining this ranking. The WalkScore ratings used in this study are calculated by assessing the walkability of approximately every block across a city or neighborhood, and may vary slightly by specific addresses. WalkScore defines cities with a score of 70 or higher as “Very Walkable”. Home Price Value has always been popular (if not scarce in the Bay Area) but Walkability has become an increasingly important factor in the real-estate market. Home buyers are increasingly paying more attention to what retailers, restaurants and amenities are nearby, as well as sidewalk and road safety. Walking-distance amenities raised values by as much as $3,000 for a one-point increase in rankings, Walk Score found.
“The trend occurring in urban areas is moving toward less dependency on cars and a greater commitment to live more sustainably,” says Walk Score CEO Josh Herst “Furthermore, people in walkable neighborhoods weigh six to 10 pounds less than those who don’t. Walk Score has also done extensive research showing that walkable places make people happier and healthier. Finally, short commutes reduce stress levels and give people more free time to be involved in their communities.”
The top 3 most walkable cities with the most affordable homes according to the study are:
Downtown San Jose
While median home prices of $380,000-625,000 in Emeryville, San Jose and Albany are high relative to average U.S. prices, which stood at $280,500 in the 24 metro areas surveyed by ZipRealty as of June 30, those local home prices are relatively affordable compared to the Bay Area median home price of $620,000. “You can buy a home priced well under the Bay Area median home price average in the cities we ranked, and these places are all very walkable,” adds ZipRealty CEO and President Lanny Baker.
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