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These Are the 10 Most Walkable Cities of 2017

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New York, San Francisco and Boston remain the most walkable large cities in the U.S., according to the latest Walk Score® annual ranking. Miami, which saw its Walk Score rating increase by one point since last year, has surpassed Philadelphia to become the fourth-most walkable city.  Unlike last year, no new cities cracked the top 10.

Rank City Walk Score Change from 2016
1 New York 89.2 +0.3
2 San Francisco 86.0 +0.4
3 Boston 80.9 +0.2
4 Miami 79.2 +1.0
5 Philadelphia 79.0 +0.7
6 Chicago 77.8 +0.3
7 Washington D.C. 77.3 +0.4
8 Seattle 73.1 +0.2
9 Oakland 72.0 +0.5
10 Long Beach 69.9 +0.9

New York City has maintained the No. 1 spot on the list once again. Since Walk Score updated its algorithm in 2014, New York reigns as the king of walkability, and its Walk Score now sits at an all-time high of 89.2.

The nation’s most walkable cities are becoming even more walkable. Of the top 50 most walkable cities only one, Omaha, Nebraska, saw its Walk Score decline, and it only decreased 0.3 points from last year.

Walk Score measures the walkability of a location based on its distance from amenities, density of population, block length and pedestrian friendliness. The annual ranking identifies the most walkable U.S. cities with populations of more than 300,000.

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Changes in the Top Five

Miami’s steady increase in walkability can be attributed to builders and city officials embracing the idea of densely populated neighborhoods.

“Developers are seeing an overall trend in people who desire to live, work and play within the same neighborhood,” said Aaron Drucker, a Redfin real estate agent in Miami. “Developers have focused on popular, urban neighborhoods like Wynwood, Midtown, Brickell, South Beach and Coconut Grove, constructing high rises, multi-family homes and condominiums.This has led to population increases, creating density that didn’t exist in Miami years ago.”

Despite Philadelphia’s drop in rank, the city’s walkability continues to increase. The city of brotherly love saw its Walk Score increase from 78.3 last year to 79.0 in 2017.

“Some main retail arteries that run through hot residential areas are experiencing a huge renaissance,” said Philadelphia Redfin agent Jennifer Seal. “The likelihood that there’s a new grocery store, coffee shop or even spinning studio within blocks of many Philadelphia homes has greatly increased in recent years.”

Changes in the Top 50

Fresno, California experienced a healthy surge, moving up two places in the top 50 and increasing its Walk Score from 45.1 in 2016 to 46.3 this year. Also making moves in 2017 is El Paso, Texas with an impressive leap from 40.0 to 41.5. The Virginia neighborhood in El Paso was named one of Texas’ 10 most walkable neighborhoods.

Columbus, Ohio dropped three places from 38th to 41st most walkable city in the country this year; still the Ohio capital remains in the top 50 with a Walk Score® of 40.7. St. Louis (64.5), Dallas (46.2), Omaha (45.1), Aurora (42.6) and Riverside (41.3) were the other cities to drop rank in the top 50, albeit only one spot each.

Why Walkability Matters

Our goal at Redfin and Walk Score is to help people find the right home, not just any home, and what often makes a home “right” is location. Walkability is about convenience, quality of life and everything outside the four walls of a house. When you live near the people and places you enjoy most, you can spend less time and money on transit and more time doing what you love.

For the full ranking of America’s most walkable cities, click here. To see how your home fares in terms of walkability, get your score here. If you’re looking to buy, Redfin features Walk Score on listings of homes for sale. Renters can use Walk Score’s Apartment Search tfind a rental home in a walkable neighborhood.

Methodology

To calculate the rankings, Walk Score analyzed over 10 million locations and computed more than 2 billion walking routes for 2,500 U.S. cities. The Walk Score algorithm incorporates walking routes, the number of nearby amenities (e.g. restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores), respective distance to those amenities, pedestrian friendliness, population and neighborhood boundary data.

How Much is One Point of Transit Score Worth?

Homes with great transit access are extremely rare in U.S. cities. Less than one percent of homes that are listed for sale today are considered to be in a rider’s paradise (Transit Score of 90 and above). Yet in a survey of more than 1,300 people who bought a home last year, more than one in five said they wish they had paid more attention to the length of their commute from their new homes.To estimate how much transit access is worth when buying or selling a home, Redfin looked at the sale prices and Transit Score ratings of more than one million homes sold between January 2014 and April 2016 across 14 major metro areas.Here are the price premiums of one point of Transit Score on a home, grouped by metro area.
 Metro Area Transit Score  Median Sale Price $ Premium of 1 Transit Score Point on Median Home Price % Premium of 1 Transit Score Point  on Median Home Price
Atlanta 44  $168,000 $1,901 1.13%
Baltimore 58  $229,900 $226 0.10%
Boston 74  $325,000 $3,585 1.10%
Chicago 65  $220,000 $1,731 0.79%
Denver 47  $285,000 $1,366 0.48%
Los Angeles 51  $475,000 $3,095 0.65%
Oakland 55  $523,000 $2,816 0.54%
Orange County 27  $580,000 $(201) -0.03%
Phoenix 32  $204,900 $291 0.14%
Portland 51  $275,000 $1,338 0.49%
San Diego 37  $449,000 $786 0.18%
San Francisco 80  $950,000 $4,845 0.51%
Seattle 57  $375,000 $3,360 0.90%
Washington DC 71  $360,000 $3,457 0.96%

On average, across the 14 metros analyzed, one Transit Score point can increase the price of a home by $2,040. But the price premium varies widely from metro to metro. One point of Transit Score in Atlanta bumps up the price of a home over one full percentage point, or $1,901.  

“It’s easy to see a value premium for a home located near one of the main commuter lines in the metro area because walkability and access to public transportation are relatively rare in Atlanta,” said Redfin real estate agent Rory Haigler. “Atlanta is known for its traffic, so more and more, I’m working with homebuyers who want to be closer to a train or bus line for commuting to and from work. Some people even commute from the suburbs to park near a transit line to get into the metro area because it is easier than driving.”

In Orange County, the effect is small, but being convenient to public transportation actually makes a home less valuable, by $200 for an average home.

“Most people in Orange County prefer to drive their own cars; few would consider any other way to get around,” said Redfin real estate agent Keith Thomas Jr.  “Parking is easy to come by and traffic isn’t bad, so it makes sense that public transit doesn’t impact the price of a home the way it would in a more urban area like L.A.”

“Transit is an important building block to economic mobility,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson.  “The more that cities invest in good transit the bigger financial impact for homeowners and the better access families of all incomes have to jobs and public amenities. Transit is an economic win-win for communities.”

These estimates compare homes by controlling for differences in property and neighborhood characteristics, including property size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, age of the building, type of property (single-family, condo or townhouse), neighborhood median income and total employment, and controls for market conditions (appreciation over time) are also built into the model. In all metro areas, a home located in a more transit-friendly neighborhood was more expensive than the same home in a less transit-friendly location, with the exception of Orange County.

Click here to see Redfin’s 2016 report on the top 10 U.S. cities for public transit.

Analysis by Sheharyar Bokhari, Researcher for The MIT Center for Real Estate:

Methodology

To estimate how much market value homebuyers implicitly attach to a higher Transit Score, Redfin used a hedonic regression. This type of modelling is like a “comps” analysis done by real estate appraisers. The regression makes an apples-to-apples comparison between properties by controlling for different characteristics, to compare the prices of properties with different Transit Scores, “all else being equal.”

The same set of sample properties and the same hedonic regression method was used in a 2016 Walk Score study. Both this study and the 2016 study were inspired by a 2009 study, “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Home Values in U.S Cities” by Joe Cortright of Impressa, Inc. The variables used in this analysis are similar to those in the 2009 study with the exception of distance to a central business district, which was unavailable for our data. In addition, Redfin also controlled for historical real estate market conditions.

The Best Cities for Living Without a Car

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Image via iStock

What makes a city livable? People have differing views, but for many city-dwellers, proximity to restaurants, grocery stores, parks and jobs are some of the key perks of urban living, especially if those destinations are accessible without a car. According to recent Redfin research, the construction of parking spaces for residential properties is starting to wane, as is the number of families who own two cars. And as traffic concerns and commute times rise across the country, many people are opting out of car ownership entirely.

Redfin compiled the latest Walk Score rankings to see which U.S. cities with populations greater than 300,000 have the highest composite Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score rankings. These are places where you could forgo having a car and still be able to get around town in a variety of ways, whether it be by foot, bike or public transit. And while not all cities are created equal, each of these 10 cities has infrastructure to support a car-free lifestyle.

Ranking

1. San Francisco

Even though San Francisco takes second place in every category (walking, biking and transit) the overall score is the highest in the nation. This isn’t a surprise to Redfin agents. “It’s true that most people in San Francisco don’t own cars. It’s said that if you want to own a home that has parking, plan on adding about $300,000 to the cost of your home,” said Redfin real estate agent Mia Simon. “The good news is that nearly every neighborhood in San Francisco is walkable and the BART and MUNI can basically get you anywhere you need to go. It’s very common for prospective buyers to schedule a series of home tours and travel between tours on foot and via public transit to get a feel for what life would be like at their new home without a car.”

2. New York

New York has the highest Walk Score and Transit Score rankings in the nation. Its Bike Score, on the other hand, falls to seventh place. “Even with the bike-share programs accelerating across the city, many streets don’t have special bike lanes and traffic is a deterrent for many people who might otherwise consider biking,” said Redfin agent Jonathan Makolondra. “That said, New Yorkers are certainly accustomed to getting around the city and surrounding boroughs without a car. The MTA subway system is extensive and walking is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of the city.”

3. Boston

It turns out that Boston is a great city for every mode of transportation that doesn’t involve a car. The city ranks third in the nation for Bike,Transit and Walk Score. “In general, Boston is just a really easy city to get around without a car,” said Redfin agent Megan McShane. “In addition to being known as ‘America’s Walking City,’ the T provides access to all the most popular neighborhoods via subway, bus, trolley and boat, and the commuter rail services the outlying suburbs.”

4. Washington D.C.

From Arlington to Silver Spring, the D.C. area has the fourth highest ranking in the nation with a Transit Score of 70. “The METRO provides a lot of routes into the city from various suburbs and within the city there are also plentiful bus routes,” said Redfin agent Dan Galloway. “Biking is really on the rise too. Capital Bikeshare now has 400 stations across the city and more bike lanes and routes have been popping up,” while organizations such as Bike Arlington strive to further increase the popularity of biking in the area. “The city also has plenty of walkable neighborhoods like Dupont Circle, Georgetown and Downtown/Chinatown.”

5. Philadelphia

Philadelphia has the fourth highest Walk Score in the nation and it turns out that it’s becoming more walkable as builders focus on creating walkable new construction throughout the city. “Redfin agents have noticed that a lot of walkable homes are being built in neighborhoods like Northern LibertiesFishtownFrankfordSouth Philly and Point Breeze,” said Redfin agent Tom Lewis. “In addition to great walkability, the city offers plenty of public transportation options as well. Philly is also known as one of the top cities in the nation for bike commuters.”

6. Chicago

“Especially if you live in neighborhoods close to the Loop, a car isn’t necessary in Chicago. Lincoln Park, River North, the South Loop – they’re all worlds unto their own, where you can walk to everything you need,” said Redfin agent Jenn Kim. “Should you want to get out of your neighborhood, the El is a great option, plus the city’s invested a lot in its biking infrastructure. In the summer, the Divvy bike-share program is popular, and it’s not uncommon to see large groups of people cycling home via Milwaukee Avenue during the evening commute.”

7. Minneapolis

“Last year Minneapolis was the only U.S. city on a worldwide list of bike-friendly cities. Mayor Betsy Hodges’ administration has emphasized building more protected bikeways to traverse town, and there’s always the old favorites like the Chain of Lakes trails and the Midtown greenway,” said Redfin agent James Garry. “Add to that a growing light rail system, on-time buses and vibrant neighborhoods like Uptown and Dinkytown, where you can walk to everything you need, and it should be no surprise to see Minneapolis on this list.”

8. Miami

“Even though Miami ranks high for walkability with a Walk Score of 78, its Bike and Transit Scores leave a little more to be desired. With a Bike Score of 60, two wheels probably won’t take the place of four wheels any time soon, but that said, there are neighborhoods like Downtown and Little Havana where cycling is a viable transportation option,” said Redfin agent Cecilia Cordova.  “If you’d prefer to get around town via public transit, there are several options including the Metrorail that runs from West to South Miami crossing through Downtown.”

9. Seattle

“The expansion of the light rail up to Capitol Hill and the University District and the recently approved light rail extension plan indicate that Seattle’s Transit Score could be improving within the next year or two, potentially making Seattle an even friendlier city for those who’d like a car-free commute or lifestyle,” said Redfin agent Kyle Moss. “The bus system also offers great options for commuters and travelers alike, and neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Belltown and Madison Park are really fun, lively places to walk around. For those who love to bike, Seattle also has some fantastic bike trails, many of them scenic like the Burke-Gilman.”

10. Oakland

“Oakland doesn’t fall short when it comes to public transportation,” said Redfin agent Mia Simon. “The BART and A C Transit are both good options for navigating the city. In addition, the Trans-Bay express bus just makes a few stops and then heads directly to San Francisco. There’s also a ferry from Jack London Square if you prefer traveling by water. Neighborhoods like  Rockridge and Uptown, Lake Merrit/Grand are all super walkable. There are also 13 neighborhoods with a Bike Score above 90, making them a biker’s paradise!”

More Walk Score Data in More Ways

At Walk Score we’re committed to helping people find walkable places to live with easy access to the people and places they love. As part of our ongoing effort to make more data available to more people, we’re excited to announce the expansion of our API offerings. Based on user feedback, we’re now offering Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score in a single API. Additionally, for the first time ever you will be able to add a Score Details report to your website with our Score Details API, making it easier for visitors to your site to understand their Walk Score.

Score API example:

Use the Walk Score API to get the Walk Score, Transit Score and for the first time ever, Bike Score for any location. Allow visitors to your website to search for or filter properties by Walk Score. Transit Score is available in 500+ cities and Bike Score is available in 150+ cities.
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Score Details API example:

The Score Details Report explains the Walk Score of a location and shows which categories are more or less walkable. For example, a home or apartment might have great walkability for restaurants and shopping but not for parks and schools. We use the Score Details API on walkscore.com to provide users with insight into their Walk Score and now we’re making this data available to add to your website and mobile apps.

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Public Transit API example:

Transit data is available from 350+ transit agencies with more data being added all the time. Display the distance from your listings to nearby transit stops or enable search near transit on your site.

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Travel Time API example:

Many Walk Score users are familiar with our Travel Time API shown here in use on Walk Score Apartment Search. We’re pleased to announce the official return of this hidden gem. Use the Travel Time API on your site to rapidly calculate travel times between places and visualize travel times on a map. Engage your site visitors by allowing them to explore their commute time. 

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Sign up for an API key or contact us to get started.

Walkability, Real Estate and Public Health Data

In addition to expanding our API offerings, we’re also making more data available for analysts and researchers.

Opportunity Score:

Opportunity Score assigns an address a rating, from zero to 100, that represents how easy it is to get to nearby jobs without a car. Scores also consider the local population to reflect the fact that places with more people likely have more competition for local jobs. Opportunity Score data is now available in a spreadsheet.

Predictive Analysis

We’re also excited to announce a custom predictive analysis service to help developers and planners assess the impact of proposed development. The scope of the analysis can be tailored to your unique needs including the impact on Walk Score, walkshed and amenity access and depth of choice.

Contact us to learn more about using Walk Score data in your research and analysis.

The Top 10 Most Bikeable Downtowns

These cities are doing the most to make biking to work safe and convenient

 

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Reposted from Redfin.com.

A big consideration for people as they choose a home is their commute to work every day, so what better way to celebrate this year’s Bike to Work Week than by highlighting the cities with the most bikeable downtowns?

We looked at Bike Score ratings of downtown neighborhoods across the country to see which cities offer the best biking commutes for their residents, and reached out to their local government officials to find out what they have done to reach such high scores. We also talked to our agents and found out that bikeability is not going unnoticed for local homebuyers who increasingly factor a daily bike commute into their home search.

To see the full ranking of the top 10 most bikeable downtowns among major cities with more than 500,000 people, as well as information on local bike-focused transportation initiatives, take a look at the report below.

1. Center City West, Philadelphia, Pa. – 96.4

Center City West, the heart of Downtown Philadelphia, topped our list with a 96.4 Bike Score. Redfin agent Minh Che says the city’s urban dwellers increasingly use a combination of bicycling, public transit and car-sharing programs to navigate downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

“It’s not uncommon for my home-buying clients to bike from one home to the next during home tours or on a weekend open house outing,” said Che. “For a couple of recent clients, a garage was a must-have, not to park cars, but to store bikes. Buyers today see bike routes and bike storage as an important amenity, more so than previous generations.”

The city has more than 440 miles of bike lanes, according to Mayor Jim Kenney’s Deputy Managing Director for Transportation and Infrastructure, Clarena Tolson, giving Philadelphia the most bike lanes per square mile of any large city in the country. And in downtown specifically, she says nearly 5 percent of people use a bicycle as their main form of transportation.

In addition to increasing downtown bike lanes, the city is expanding its Indego bike sharing program to more Philadelphians. “We are committed to an inclusive and equitable bike share program that serves all citizens of the city,” said Tolson. “The program provides stations and connectivity to some of our more challenged communities with the intent of connecting those communities not only to downtown, but to our parks and waterways. In our transportation system we believe access equals opportunity.”

As the bike network grows, safety continues to be a concern as well as an increasing priority for bicyclists and governments, in Philadelphia and elsewhere across the country. Tolson says that bike fatalities decreased by 25 percent in Philadelphia from 2010 to 2014, and education has been a big part of that. “One of the keys to bicyclist safety has been greater education and appreciation for bicyclists as people who deserve to share the road, so we’ve made that a focus.” Tolson says that as more bikers get on the road, awareness of road-sharing grows and our streets become safer for everyone.

2. El Presidio, Tucson, Ariz. – 95.8

The El Presidio neighborhood located in downtown Tucson is a historic district, home to City Hall and to many of the city’s jobs. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says the city has been working to improve bikeability across the downtown neighborhoods.

“Tucson is a gold-level bike-friendly city according to the League of American Bicyclists, and we’re working to get to the next level. Tucson’s downtown has protected bike lanes, which we’re expanding, and many bike parking facilities. A number of downtown businesses offer discounts and incentives to customers who bike to their location. We’re also working with the private sector to launch a bike share program in downtown Tucson,” said Mayor Rothschild.

Redfin agent Sara Fischer says bicycling in Tucson is popular among residents, despite the hot climate. “Because Tucson enjoys such beautiful sunny weather almost year round, biking through this historic district allows you to enjoy all of the sights and sounds of our amazing southwest desert surroundings.”

3. Downtown, Austin, Texas – 93.4

Austin is rapidly growing as people—especially millennials—flood in from major cities and tech hotspots around the country. And those newcomers are entering a highly competitive market where every extra dollar put toward an offer on a home counts. That’s part of why new residents are foregoing the expense of a car and putting the money toward a condo or house near downtown where daily bike commuting is easy, according to Redfin agent Andrew Vallejo.

“I’ve worked with three clients in the past two weeks who do not own a car and rely on biking and walking to get to work and other parts of the city. Our downtown corridor is so bike-friendly that it’s possible for people to easily get to their jobs every day, especially if they live in a neighborhood near downtown like Zilker or East Austin,” Vallejo said.

The city of Austin has an Active Transportation Division that specifically focuses on connecting bicyclist and pedestrian pathways and making it safe for residents to commute to work via bike. Austin Mayor Steve Adler has also worked to increase the number of protected bike paths in the city.

“Building protected bike paths downtown has been great for Austin. Not only has it made getting around downtown safer and quicker for cyclists, but the protected paths have moved them out of harm’s way and relieved traffic congestion. Having a bikeable downtown has made everything better in Austin,” said Mayor Adler.

4. Downtown, Denver, Colo. – 92.6

The city of Denver operates a program called Denver Moves, which is aimed at enhancing the city-wide bicycle network to be more attractive to cyclists of all abilities. This year, the city updated that plan to include a network of enhanced on-street bicycle facilities downtown—such as protected or buffered bike lanes and marked intersections—and identified key corridors that link downtown to some of the city’s hottest neighborhoods like Cheesman Parkand Washington Park West.

“We have many clients who have relocated to Denver, in part, for its bikeability. Denver has more than 20 miles of bike lanes in downtown alone and 85 miles of paved trails throughout the city connecting the central business district to many of Denver’s most popular neighborhoods. With over 600 bike racks downtown and the ability to transport your bike on both our Light Rail and Regional Transportation District bus systems, the city makes it easy and convenient to commute by bike,” said Redfin agent Megan Leddy.

5. Downtown, Portland, Ore. – 92.3

Portland residents have been thinking about bikeability for a long time; the Portland City Council adopted the official Bicycle Master Plan back in 1996. More recently the city adopted a plan for 2030, which sets the stage for a vastly expanded bicycle transportation program.

“Portland has done such a fantastic job of creating designated bike boulevards throughout the city and the result is that commuting via bike into the downtown core is easy, safe and efficient, and is why we have one of the heaviest volumes of bike commuters in the country. Once you get downtown by bike, the combination of bike boulevards, designated paths and an abundance of bike racks gives the downtown biking community easy access to food carts in NW Portland, the waterfront park in the Pearl District and the hip breweries in the up-and-coming Central Eastside Industrial District. Our roadways are becoming more congested with vehicles, so commuting by bicycle is also currently one of the fastest ways to commute to downtown,” said Redfin agent Michael Morris.

6. Old Louisville, Louisville, Ky. – 89.9

Bicycle education is a key focus for the city of Louisville, which ranked sixth on our list. The city provides bicycle safety classes for individuals and brown bag lunches for businesses who want their employees to learn more about daily bicycle commuting.

The city has also improved its local bike infrastructure. “Louisville has invested in bike lanes to meet the huge demand from the community, and this ranking shows we’re getting results,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer “Those lanes have given residents a healthy, safe option to travel between neighborhoods and to downtown. But the work is hardly done. Our city is in the process of rethinking how we connect, and bicycles are a major part that strategic mobility plan.”

7. Downtown, Washington, D.C. – 88.2

Washington, D.C., takes bicycle safety seriously—it has committed to a Vision Zero Initiative, with the objective of reaching zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers of the transportation system by the year 2024. As part of the initiative, citizens can report transportation hazards around the city via the Vision Zero Safety Map so that they can be promptly corrected by city officials.

“D.C. was one of the first cities to adopt a bike share system, and it’s taken off in popularity both with locals and tourists,” said Redfin agent Steve Centrella. “With the increase in dedicated bike lanes, as well as improvements to the Metropolitan Branch Trail, it’s easier for residents to commute downtown by bike, and we’re seeing a growing number of residents who bike as their primary means of transportation.”

8. Downtown, San Jose, Calif. – 87.3

San Jose residents are part of the Bay Area Bike Share network, which also operates in San Francisco, Palo Alto and other cities in the region. The bike share program aids the city’s efforts to increase bicycling until it accounts for 5 percent of all trips by 2020 and 15 percent of all trips by 2040. The city is also building a 400-mile on-street bikeway network to make getting around town easier and safer.

“In addition to recent improvements in biking infrastructure, San Jose also has a budding bike culture,” said Redfin agent Ashley Rabello. “One prime example is the San Jose Bike Party: a nonprofit group that brings together cyclists in the community for monthly rides and group excursions. Also, for those who don’t live right downtown, many bike enthusiasts opt to bike to public transportation as a way to shorten their commute without having to get in a car.”

9. Downtown, Indianapolis, Ind. – 86.7

Part of what makes downtown Indianapolis such a bike haven is the Indy Bike Hub at the YMCA. The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis partnered with the city government and Bicycle Garage Indy to create a centrally located hub where commuters can store their bikes during the day, repair their cycles in the bike shop or shower before work in the locker rooms.

“Biking has gotten a lot more convenient in Indianapolis over the past few years,” said Redfin agent Jake Johnson. “People have really taken to the Indiana Pacers Bike Share program, and there are a few well-used trails that lead to downtown that make commuting especially easy. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail connects different parts of the downtown core, and the Monon Trail gives residents in northern parts of the city like Meridian Kessler and Carmel a quick bicycle route to jobs downtown.”

10. The Loop, Chicago, Ill. – 84.2

Chicago has more than 200 miles of on-street protected, buffered and shared bike lanes, more than 13,000 bike racks and sheltered bike parking areas at Chicago Transit Authority bus and train stations throughout the city to make commuting to downtown a possibility for residents living in even farther outlying areas. The city also operates the popular bike share program Divvy.

According to Redfin agent Niko Voutsinas, Milwaukee Avenue is an especially popular route for cyclists to get to and from downtown every day, and is full of bike commuters come rush hour. But for many of these cyclists, there’s more to consider than just adequate roadways.

“A lot of my clients are pretty serious bicyclists, so good storage is a major priority when they look for a home. If you own a $10,000 bike, you’re not going to want to just lock it up outside every night—you’re going to want interior storage, so many of my buyers factor that in when deciding on a home. Can they set up a hoist system to hang their bikes in their loft? Is there a private garage that can fit multiple bicycles? These are all non-negotiables,” said Voutsinas.

Bike Score Methodology

Bike Score measures whether a location is good and safe for biking on a scale from 0–100 based on four equally weighted components:

  • Bike lanes
  • Hills
  • Destinations and road connectivity
  • Share of local workers’ commutes traveled by bicycle

To establish the top 10 list, Redfin ranked the Bike Scores of downtown neighborhoods across the country among cities with populations larger than 500,000.