Huntsville’s Walkable Neighborhoods

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by Tim

in Huntsville Historic Homes,Huntsville Neighborhoods / Subdivisions

Many of you in all probability have found Walkscore on the web, a niche site where you are able to enter street addresses and it will rate a neighborhood’s walkability to businesses, parks, and schools. And remember just because your favorite neighborhood has sidewalks doesn’t mean it will be a highly rated walkable neighborhood. 🙂

Huntsville doesn’t fare very well on this website, with a citywide walable score of 38. If Huntsville were one of the nation’s 40 largest cities, we would be the 39th most walkable, behind Nashville and in front of bottom- ranked Jacksonville. Other cities in the area don’t fare much better; Decatur is the best in the region with an average score of 40. Athens and Madison came in at 37 and 28 respectively.

I decided out of curiosity to take the “walkscores” a step further. I divided Huntsville up into 14 sections/neighborhoods of various sizes and put them against 16 other communities in the region, everywhere from Mooresville (population 65) to Decatur (population 56,000). I selected up to twelve addresses in each neighborhood at random and took the average. The result: unscientific lists of the ten most and least walkable communities in the region.

Most Walkable

  1. Downtown Huntsville – No surprises here; most of the CBD and Historic District are very walkable. However, the most walkable address I found in the region was in #2. Most walkable: Lincoln Street. Least walkable: Searcy Homes, which still had a fairly high score of 69; coming redevelopment will probably raise this. Average score: 74.7
  2. Fayetteville— a fine Courthouse Square and downtown make this Southern Tennessee city the place to beat. Most walkable: the large historic district, which is where I found the only “walker’s paradise” (score of 95) in the region. Least walkable: its suburban fringes, which will only grow as Huntsville continues its march northward across the state line. Average score: 72.6
  3. North Downtown– surprisingly, this largely industrial area (which includes up-and-coming Lincoln Mill) beat out established urban neighborhoods such as Five Points and Merrimack (#11). Most walkable: Lincoln Mill. Least walkable: the University/Parkway interchange, the convergence of Huntsville’s two “Berlin Walls” (as said by a local bicyclist). Average score: 71
  4. West Downtown/Lowe Mill
  5. Terry Heights
  6. Athens
  7. Ardmore
  8. Arab
  9. Medical District/Blossomwood
  10. Five Points

Least Walkable

  1. The Coves (Hampton, Big)— Hampton Cove is the only place where I found a walkscore of 0– actually, half of the addresses I used had the lowest score possible. Most walkable: the closest you live to 431 and Sutton, the better (but not by much). Least walkable: Everywhere else. Average score: 5.6
  2. Zierdt Road/Triana– this sprawlicious area eked out of the bottom spot because I decided to include the town of Triana in the average. Most walkable: Triana. Least walkable: Beadle Lane. Average score: 8.5
  3. Mooresville— this cool 6-block historic town would seem like the perfect walkable community. But being sandwiched between 565, the Tennessee River, and farmland, there really isn’t much to walk to. Average score: 9
  4. Hazel Green
  5. Harvest 
  6. Northeast Madison County
  7. Monrovia
  8. Meridianville
  9. Southeast Huntsville
  10. New Hope

Thanks to James over at the Huntsville Development blog for this effort.

{ 1 comment }

Karen July 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Thanks for this list. I’m moving from Virginia Highland, one of Atlanta’s 1920s streetcar suburbs, and the idea that I’ll have to settle for car-bound sprawl is giving me the howling fantods. I’ll definitely refer to this list and see if I can get a feel for these neighborhoods before we buy.

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The data relating to Huntsville AL Real Estate on this Web site derive in part from the Valley MLS IDX datashare program. © 2016 Valley MLS, Inc. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.

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