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.

One comment on “Huntsville’s Walkable Neighborhoods

  1. Karen on said:

    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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