I like to make maps.

Last week I was asked which parts of the city are within walking distance of an elementary school and within biking distance of a middle school. So I made a map.

But to make the map I needed to make some choices. I decided only to graph the public schools. I decided that a half mile is a reasonable distance for an elementary school student. It varies of course. I know some parents who walk further distances, and I know many who live closer and still drive. But you need to draw the line somewhere and a half mile looked reasonable.

Half Mile Walking Distance to Elementary Schools
Half mile walkshed of all public elementary schools

For biking I chose a mile as the cutoff. But I had an additional problem, which is that many streets in the city are unsafe for cycling. I used the data from the AccessMV Report. Here I have included both the existing and the planned “All Ages and Abilities” network.

One Mile Biking Distance to Middle Schools
One mile bikeshed of all public middle schools

The purpose of the request was to identify areas where the city should maybe consider allowing a bit more density. You know, build housing near things, instead of near freeways and nothing like the 1040 Terra Bella project.

I thought it might also be useful for people deciding where to live in MV.

The green areas are zoned low density, large detached homes and duplexes. Light green are also areas where housing should be created according to the Walkable Oriented Development tool. The light green areas have the best walkability. Blue are areas which already allow medium or high density housing.

Intersection of walkable elementary and bikeable middle school areas
Parcels which are within a half mile walk of an elementary school and a mile bike of a middle school

There are only two elementary schools within the bikeshed of Crittenden. I would say the ideal location for someone who values walkability would be the eastern part of Rex Manor. Less than a mile to downtown and the train station.

Area around Crittenden Middle School

The bikeshed for Graham intersects with five elementary schools. A lot more choice. Though the current district boundaries would assign the area near Castro to Landels. Here I would recommend being near downtown, either in the Landels or Bubb walkshed.

Area around Graham Middle School