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.
The top 10 is a bit of a head-scratcher because downtown Dallas comes in first, and Fort Worth 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.”
That’s it? Sure, the Arts District and the park are great, but that’s only one part of downtown, and other areas aren’t quite so pedestrian-friendly. Plus, isn’t a park a little obvious? It that’s not walkable, then someone didn’t do his job right.
Oak Lawn/Uptown claims fourth place, but the explanation isn’t so much about walkability as it is the variety of homes available in the area, from mid-rise condos to ramblers. Redfin also notes, “This neighborhood has a bustling retail corridor and a slew of new restaurants and eateries. It also has all the necessary amenities like grocery stores, gas stations, and the like.” Gas stations: very important for walkable cities.
Knox-Henderson also makes the list at No. 6, but its Walk Score of 81 reads almost like an apology.
“Many Dallas neighborhoods have older, classic homes, but Knox/Henderson is seeing an inflow of new, modern townhomes and condos, in styles that typically appeal more to out-of-state buyers,” says Redfin agent Bob Plessinger. “More restaurants and shops are cropping up as new residents arrive in the neighborhood, so I expect that this neighborhood’s walk score will continue to improve over time.”
At least those people can walk to a grocery store, thanks to Trader Joe’s, which the poor residents of downtown Dallas can’t do.
Three areas in Austin (downtown, West Campus, and East Austin); two in Houston (Midtown and Neartown/Montrose); and one each in San Antonio (downtown) and El Paso (Virginia) complete the top 10.
Downtown Austin nabs a close second place overall, with a Walk Score of 88 thanks largely to recent programs like the Great Streets project, which spiffed up public spaces along the roadways, updated sidewalks, put in ample lighting for night-time activities, and encouraged streetside cafes to give residents safe, easy access to the heart of the city.
That, frankly, sounds like the state’s most walkable neighborhood.