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Web site helps identify walkable neighborhoods

Unless you’re using wind energy to charge the battery in your new Chevy Volt, you probably use more energy to move around central Texas and Austin than you do to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. According to the US Energy Information Administration, Texans use almost twice as much energy in our cars and trucks as we do in our homes.

Saving energy means taking a hard look at our transportation choices. Gains can be achieved in a variety of ways. We can choose to drive more fuel efficient vehicles or move closer to work and school. We can combine trips and drive less. We can also walk or bike instead of driving, especially now that summer’s heat has broken for the year.

If walking or biking appeals, the website is an excellent resource. Type in an address and Walkscore provides information on how walkable the surrounding neighborhood is. The site allows user customization. You can add your favorite restaurant, a church or other destination. Many users have commented that the site introduced them to local stores or restaurants they didn’t even know existed.

Walkscore is also popular with people contemplating a move. It allows them to compare neighborhoods and find a more walkable new home. With fuel prices and interest in green lifestyles rising, Texans should take Walkscore for a spin.

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