Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Expo Phase 1's Walk Score

Source: Metro

Okay, I couldn't resist doing one more of these Walk Score analyses, this time for a rail line that hasn't been built yet: the first phase of the Exposition Light Rail Line.

Before I say anything else it is critical to understand what Walk Score is measuring. So read about how it works, and how it doesn't work before you go any further. The short version is it's measuring how many non-residential, non-office destinations are close to a point. It's not measuring things like safety, topography, weather, etc. that affect walkability. It is not meant to be the SOLE means of analysis. But, it is interesting nonetheless :)

Another important caveat is the scores are low because the line hasn't been built yet. Once it's built the algorithm will give more points for the stations themselves.

Here are the highlights:
Mean: 79.3 (very walkable)
High: 98 (walker's paradise - 7th St./Metro Center)
Low: 48 (car dependent - Expo/Western)

And here are the data:
Stop Name Walk Score
7th St./Metro Center 98
Pico 94
23rd 85
Jefferson/USC 85
Expo Park/USC 88
Expo/Vermont 69
Expo/Western 49
Expo/Crenshaw 80
Expo/Farmdale 69
Expo/La Brea 78
La Cienega/Jefferson 69
Venice/Robertson 88

It seems as though the portions of the line in Downtown LA and close to USC are offering up a lot of close by amenities. The situation at Expo/Western definitely jumps out as far lower than the other scores. Interestingly, the new station at Farmdale (which isn't yet on the map above) doesn't score terribly despite its impromtu nature as a compromise to settle a dispute about the at-grade crossing there.

The average score means the Expo Line is just behind the Gold Line (but it will be ahead once the stations are factored in as explained above) meaning it will be surpassed only by the subway in average Walk Score (out of all LA County's rail lines and the Orange Line).

But as always, Walk Scores are only the beginning. How walkable do these stations seem to you?


  1. A quick disclaimer about the merits of WalkScore- did Browne scare you? ;)

  2. Well, let's just say she made me more rigorous :)

  3. A mean of 80 is respectable, considering the fact that it can only get higher with the inevitable TODs that will be built in the coming years.