OK. Now I’m depressed. I’m really depressed. Or rather I should say I feel ill just thinking about this topic.
My family is in the midst of selling our downtown Vancouver condo so that we can relocate to a house. It is tough finding a nice, affordable, relatively central home in the Lower Mainland that has some kind of main floor family/play room for under $950,000 dollars these days. We have identified some lovely homes, but they are a two hour, round trip drive (at least) for relatives in town who might want to visit us. Crazy as it may sound, this is the Vancouver real estate market right now. Since we have one car and two babies, walkability issues are a key concern. We do care if there is a grocery store, community center, good transit routes, library, schools and stores nearby.
So we have turned to the Walkscore website to see how potential house prospects fare.
Here is the result for our current location:
Walk Score: 97 (Out of 100)
I live in a walker’s paradise, apparently, and could be moving to a car dependent location. I spent many years living in places like urban Japan and did not bother to get my car license until I was well into my 30s. I still do not like to drive and lack confidence in the “hit and miss” driving culture of the Lower Mainland. Signals? Why use them? You get the picture.
Potential affordable homes we are looking at come in as “somewhat walkable” to “car dependent”.
We have thought about incorporating the possibility of using public transit in our new location, but the topic of a double stroller (we have twins) on a bus seems to be a sticky one.
We’ve written about seeking a home near a high street before, and it’s still a goal. Somehow, though, we have to face facts that it is going to be hard to beat a walk score of 97%!!!
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Looking for Utopia (With a High Street)
Using strollers on public transit
Pamela Chan, M.Ed./Publisher, BCfamily.ca