Zillow Home Value Index: $168,300
Year-over-year change: -13.6%
Walk score (out of 100): 76
A city as massive as Chicago doesn't seem likely to get tagged as "walkable," but it all depends on where you're walking.
If you're out in Old Town going from Lincoln Park to the Near North Side, you're not going to have to hike far to get to a bar, movie theater or a place that serves decent Italian beef. If you're at an art gallery in Pilsen and have to meet someone for drinks in New City, good luck with that.
Chicago's a lot more walkable and its restaurants, theaters, shops and other amenities are much more accessible the closer one gets to Lake Michigan. Lake View and Wrigleyville or West Town and Wicker Park are great places to ditch the car and enjoy life, Once you stray too far west or south, however, you start drifting into the 4% of Chicago neighborhoods that actually require a car to get around,
The Chicago Transit Authority is the great equalizer, however, as CTA buses and trains helped roughly 515 million riders get through the city last year. That includes a daily influx of tourists and businesspeople flying into O'Hare and Midway and taking CTA trains into the city. Tack on another 70.5 million riders taking the commuter rail in from the suburbs each day and Chicagoans have a lot of reasons to keep their cars in hibernation until the lake-effect snow passes.
Zillow Home Value Index: $309,500
Year-over-year change: -5.9%
Walk score (out of 100): 70
A full fifth of the city needs a car to get around, and the town is notorious for trapping tourists within its labyrinth of surface roads. Exactly how is this place "convenient"?
It's all a matter of perspective. If you're fortunate enough to be in Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Downtown, Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon Square or the U Street Corridor, everything you need is within walking distance. Georgetown also tends to be fairly self-sufficient, but even neighborhoods away from the center of the action, such as Friendship Heights and Chevy Chase, tend to be kind to the car-free.
They owe a lot of thanks to D.C.'s Metro, which handled 409 million riders on its buses and subways last year and takes a lot of the traffic and tourists off the road to Reagan International by bringing them there directly. A glut of park space and a design heavy on long streets and blocks meant to draw people into its center, though, gives the nation's capital a decided advantage among pedestrians even if some of its intersections seem more pedestrian-perilous than pedestrian-friendly.