Now it's time to assess the walkability of the crown jewel of LA County Transit: the subway. It consists of two branches. The Red Line connects downtown LA and North Hollywood and the Purple Line connects Downtown LA and Koreatown. I'll be treating these lines as two branches of the same line, which is what they really are.
Remember, this is how to interperet the Walk Scores:
90-100: Walker's Paradise
70-89: Very Walkable
50-69: Somewhat Walkable
25-49: Car Dependent
0-24: [Very] Car Dependent
Here's the highlight reel:
Overall Mean: 93.1 (Walker's Paradise)
Purple Line Mean: 94.5 (Walker's Paradise)
Red Line Mean: 92.9 (Walker's Paradise)
High: 100 (Pershing Square North and Wilshire/Vermont)
Low: 77 (Vermont/Beverly)
And here are the data:
|Station Name||Walk Score|
|Union Station (west)||89|
|Union Station (east)||82|
|Civic Center (west)||97|
|Civic Center (east)||91|
|Pershing Square (south)||98|
|Pershing Square (north)||100|
|7th Street/Metro Center (Figueroa)||97|
|7th Street/Metro Center (Flower)||98|
|7th Street/Metro Center (Hope)||98|
|Vermont/Santa Monica (south)||91|
|Vermont/Santa Monica (north)||92|
|Universal City (north)||91|
|Universal City (south)||88|
So, the short version is if you want to live in a place in which it's really easy to walk and use transit in LA County, you should probably be living near one of these stops. The subway blows all of the other lines out of the water on walkability. It stands to reason, since it includes some of LA's most classic urban neigborhoods, places that are dense, and mixed-use enough to make walking the logical way to get around. I'm talking about Downtown, MacArthur Park, Koreatown, and Central Hollywood.
If you're paying close attention you'll notice that the scores from Union Station are different from the one that came up for the Gold Line. That's because the subway and the Gold Line stop in different places in the station, and the "slight" difference in position is enough to affect the score. "Small" differences in position matter a lot to a person on foot. Boosting walkability is about not wasting space.
MacArthur Park's score is lower than I thought it would be. Walk Score tends to deliver lower scores for places near large parks. It's not necessarily a bad thing to a have a score that's a bit lower in case like this.
I think the data speak for themselves for the most part. Especially if you visit these places and walk around them. I do want to point out that I have a problem with the scores at Universal City. They feel really high to me because crossing to the east to go to Universal Studios has a really car-oriented intersection with only three crosswalks, and because you have to go up a giant steep hill to get to Universal Studios and the City Walk (there's a tram, but it is hard to walk). You are technically close, but Walk Score doesn't factor in things like these. That's why it's important to take all of these scores with a grain of salt and read the Methodology page on Walk Score's website.
Next time, I'll bring it all together.