Chattanooga gets a 29 on Walk Score’s walkability meter

POV of the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge.
We'll walk you through it, step by step. | Photo by @lorigt

29. That’s what Chattanooga scored out of 100 on Walk Score’s walkability meter, making it a “car-dependentcity

A Walk Score is a numeric ranking that represents the walkability of an address based on pedestrian-friendliness and access to businesses. 

Walk Score’s scale of walkability. | Image via Walk Score

Points are given based on the distance between the home and businesses, including restaurants, retail, and entertainment. For example, the proximity of Together Café to the Highland Park neighborhood would earn maximum points for being within a five minute walk (or about a quarter mile). However, Together Café would contribute zero points to the Riverview neighborhood’s walk score, since it’s greater than a 30-minute walk away

So, how does a whole city get one score? Chattanooga’s walkability score is found by calculating the average walkability of many residential addresses in a city, meaning the more Together Café + Highland Park combinations, the better

If you’re more likely to put the rubber to the road than make like Nancy Sinatra + strap on your walking boots, you’re in luck. Chattanooga ranks slightly higher for bicyclists with an overall score of 35. Learn how to make the most of that score + utilize Chattanooga bike transit system.

Walk Score's bikeability scale, from "90-100: Biker's Paradise" to "0-49: Somewhat Bikeable."
Walk Score’s bikeability scale. | Image via Walk Score

Don’t let a bad grade get you down. Chattanooga is already taking steps towards becoming more pedestrian-friendly with initiatives like the 10-Minute Walk Campaign and the recent completion of the Greenway, which can get you from Camp Jordan to the Riverwalk without stepping foot in a car.

In the meantime, here are Chattanooga’s top five most walkable + bikeable neighborhoods: 

  • Downtown (Walk score: 69 | Bike score: 79) 
  • North Chattanooga-Hill City-UTC (Walk score: 62 | Bike score: 59) 
  • Cedar Hill (Walk score: 51 | Bike score: 48)
  • Bushtown-Highland Park (Walk score: 50 | Bike score: 63) 
  • Brainerd (Walk score: 45 | Bike score: 31)