HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville city leaders met to discuss the findings of a study analyzing downtown.
The study categorized downtown Huntsville as an emerging city, a downtown that shows growth in residents and jobs. But one major thing that Huntsville lacks is transportation. Mayor Tommy Battle says the issue is that everyone drives one person to a vehicle, and as the city grows, traffic will grow with it.
“Right now, we’re working on a long term solution for transportation. It’s not talking about the next 10 years or maybe even the next 15 years, it’s ‘Let’s get the corners in place so that we can do high-speed rail or HOV lanes or we can do a lot of different aspects of what we need to do in transportation’ but we need to have the things in plan today and reserve the corners today that we’ll use 20 years from now.”
Downtown Huntsville, Inc. employed the International Downtown Association to conduct the study. They study the value of U.S. downtowns and center cities. Our ’emerging downtown’ was put in the same category as cities like Durham, North Carolina; Oklahoma City; and Tampa. Downtown Huntsville is described as having a high median income, and strong employment. However, it is not as diverse as other emerging cities.
Two other things that mayor battle highlighted: Keeping housing affordable downtown, and making sure that we have all the amenities that people need, like parks and greenways, that attract people downtown.