Have you ever wondered if your state transportation planners know anything personally about riding public transportation or riding a bike to the office?
The Project for Public Spaces did a fun little project in which they looked up the Walkscores for the 50 state Departments of Transportation. Their thesis: transportation planners are completely car and highway oriented in their thinking because that’s all they know. This is reinforced by the location of DOT offices in completely car dependent locations.
The state DOT headquarters for several states, they discovered, are located in areas that Walkscore deems “Car Dependent.” It’s perhaps not too surprising that these states — Maryland, Alaska, Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, and Nebraska — devote only token attention to transportation design for anybody who doesn’t want to own a car or truck.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Office in downtown Sacramento scored a reasonable 85, which Walkscore calls “Very Walkable,” and it is. California’s state offices are located close to several amenities and bus and transit lines.
Caltrans divides their administration, planning and operations into twelve regional districts, with a large amount of autonomy within each District.
I thought I’d look at the Caltrans district offices and their Walkscores. Here’s what I found, listed in order from worst to best.
|District & Counties||Address||Walkscore||Comments|
|10 – Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne||1976 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Stockton CA.||43||“Car Dependent”|
|6 – Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Kern||1352 W. Olive Ave, Fresno, CA.||51||“Somewhat Walkable”|
|12 – Orange||3347 Michelson Drive, Irvine, CA.||60||“Somewhat Walkable”|
|9 – Inyo, Mono||500 South Main Street, Bishop CA.||62||“Somewhat Walkable”|
|5 – Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz||50 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA.||68||“Somewhat Walkable”|
|11 – Imperial, San Diego||4050 Taylor Street, San Diego CA.||74 “||Very Walkable”|
|3 – Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo,Yuba||703 B Street, Marysville, CA.||78||“Very Walkable”|
|1 – Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino||1656 Union Street, Eureka, CA.||80||“Very Walkable”|
|2 – Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity; portions of Butte and Sierra||1657 Riverside Drive, Redding, CA.||86||“Very Walkable”|
|8 – Riverside, San Bernardino||464 W. 4th St, San Bernardino, CA.||89||“Very Walkable”|
|4 – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma||111 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA.||95||“Walker’s Paradise.” Walkscore also brags this location features “Excellent Transit” and is a “Biker’s Paradise.”|
|7 – Los Angeles, Ventura||100 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA.||98||“Walker’s Paradise.” Also has a perfect 100 TransitScore and scores as “Very Bikable.”|
What do you think? Do these Caltrans District Walkscores reveal anything?