How walkable is your neighborhood? You probably have some idea, if you've tried walking anywhere. Now you can get a third-party opinion.
Walkscore -- as the name implies -- scores addresses based on how walkable they are to businesses, institutions and amenities. The website aims to help prospective homebuyers and renters weigh their options. ("Buying a house in a walkable neighborhood is good for your health and good for the environment," the site says.)
My suburban home scored 37 out of 100. I thought it would do better: The community is a pretty walkable place as suburbs go, with a shopping center and a variety of things to do.
The bigger surprise: My childhood home in Columbia, that "new town" designed to be walkable, got an even worse 31.
So I tried 501 N. Calvert Street, The Sun's address -- hey, I feel like I live here some days. Score: 86 out of 100. Lots of things in walking distance when you're near downtown.
Keep in mind the site's information might not be 100 percent accurate. The Sun, for instance, is on the amenities list under the category of "libraries." (There's plenty to read in the building, I'll give them that.)
Here's what the site says about its scores, which are based on "as the crow flies" distances:
90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.
25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.
0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!