Oct. 6: International Walk to School Day
Holiday aims to promote healthy activity, cleaner environment.
Montville Township is many things, but it isn't the most walk-friendly town around.
That's not just opinion, either. I can back that up with science (sort of).
Walk Score is a website that measures the "walkability" of any address and gives it a "transit score," on a scale of 0 to 100. The higher the score, the better the location is for people who want to use their feet as a primary source of transportation.
In celebration of International Walk to School Day, I plugged in the township's seven public schools into the website to measure which one was the most pedestrian-friendly.
Of the township's schools, Woodmont Elementary scored the highest with a rating of 43. That high score for the town still makes the location "car-dependent," falling seven points short of "somewhat walkable." The least walkable school in the area is William Mason, with a score of 20.
Of course, this isn't a perfect system. The website points out that its numbers are based on how easy it would be for one to live a car-lite lifestyle from a given location, not how pleasant or pretty (not to mention safe) a particular location would be to walk to.
Still, that's no reason not to take part in International Walk to School Day. According to the holiday's website, its purpose is to promote safer routes, improve the environment and enhance the health of children across the country.
The holiday began in 1997 as a means to encourage communities to be more walkable, the website says. Since then, it has grown into a vehicle to promote safer streets, healthy living and environmental benefit.
Walking would have an additional benefit in Montville, where budget issues have forced parents to pay for bus service.
Despite what the walk scores would have us believe, the elementary schools, which are primarily located within residential areas, would probably be the most apt to take advantage of this holiday.
Attached are the various ratings for area schools, just for fun.
- Cedar Hill: 43
- Hilldale: 37
- Valley View: 29
- William Mason: 20
- Woodmont: 43
- Lazar Middle School: 38
- Montville High School: 40