Bethesda Does Well, Grosvenor Struggles In New 'Walkability' Ratings
Walkable cities are all the rage these days. The concept is at the forefront of most planning and development discussions and is an especially popular topic in the Bethesda area, where Montgomery County hopes entire new urban destinations sprout up around Metro stations without the cars and traffic of suburbs or exurbs. A set of ratings, from website walkscore.com and featured on the website of WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show, grades the areas around Bethesda's Metro stations much how one might expect. Bethesda itself, which includes downtown, Bethesda Row and Woodmont Triangle, got a "Walk Score" of 97 and was labeled as a "walker's paradise," for its easy access to restaurants, shops, entertainment, office and residential areas. The White Flint Metro station neighborhood got a score of 89, good for a "very walkable" rating ahead of the massive mixed-use development underway and planned up and down Rockville pike. Medical Center didn't fare as well, garnering a score of 57, or a "somewhat walkable" rating. The station serves employees and visitors of NIH and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, two of the county's largest employers. The area around the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station was rated as one of the least walkable neighborhoods in the Washington area. It was slapped with a walk score of 48, qualifying it as a "car-dependent" community.