A lot has been said about traffic in Texas, but we rarely give as much thought to getting around here on foot. Redfin remedied that by taking a look at the Walk Scores for major Texas cities and chatting with real estate agents. The site explains its findings in a rather curious top 10 list of the most walkable neighborhoods in Texas.
Two Houston neighborhoods — Midtown and Neartown/Montrose — rated on the list, at No. 5 and No. 9 respectively.
"Most Houstonians will tell you that their main method of transportation is a car, but there are certainly pockets within the I-610 Loop where walking is a viable way to get around. Midtown is one of those neighborhoods. It is close enough to downtown that residents can walk to work, yet it is full of its own local hang-outs, restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops and bars," the report says.
“Residents living in Midtown can walk to downtown or hop on the rail line and quickly get across the city and catch a sporting event at BBVA Compass Stadium, Minute Maid Park or Toyota Center, but one of the best things about Midtown is that it has its own vibrant scene,” said Redfin agent Irma Jalifi. “Locals really don’t need to leave the area for fun or entertainment – it’s a one-stop-shop with plenty of options within walking distance for nightlife or running quick errands on a weekend.”
Neartown/Montrose drew high marks for its prime location near downtown and the University of St. Thomas, with Hermann Park not that far away.
“Everything you need is really within walking distance here,” said Jalifi. “There are several parks, including dog parks, all along the Buffalo Bayou Trail, fun restaurants and bars on and just off of Westheimer Road, and a plethora of boutiques, shops and convenience stores scattered throughout. This is also one of Houston’s more laid-back neighborhoods — the quiet streets make it feel very far from the noise and activity of downtown, yet it’s just a short commute away.”
The top 10 is a bit of a head-scratcher because downtown Dallas comes in first and Fort Worth, whose downtown is one of the most walkable areas of the state, doesn’t rank at all. Downtown Dallas earns a Walk Score of 89 out of 100, because “residents living in the many high-rise condos enjoy easy access to centrally located jobs, cultural opportunities in the museum district, and the popular Klyde Warren Park.”
Three areas in Austin (downtown, West Campus, and East Austin); two others in Dallas (Oak Lawn, Knox/Henderson) and one each in San Antonio (downtown) and El Paso (Virginia) complete the top 10.
Redfin said it determined its Walk Score by awarding points based on the distance to amenities in each category and deterrmined pedestrian friendliness by analyzing population density and road metrics such as block length and intersection density.