1. Media Center
  2. News & Updates

Huntsville earns national rankings for safe street policies and biking improvements

Published on May 16, 2019

Huntsville’s commitment to making streets safer and more bike and pedestrian friendly has recently earned the City two national accolades.

  • A Best City for Bikes

People for Bikes reviewed biking infrastructure in 509 cities and Huntsville ranked 37th in its annual rating of  The Best Cities for Bikes,  placing the Rocket City well ahead of Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville. Places for Bikes also ranked Huntsville 3rd in the nation in its successful outreach and encouragement programs to get people to ride bikes.

Mayor Tommy Battle will lead his annual bike ride Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m. in Big Spring Park

  • Top Ten Best Complete Streets Policy

The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, recognized Huntsville as having one of the ten best “Complete Streets” policies in the country in 2018.

The top ranking affirms Huntsville’s work in drafting and instituting policies to design and built streets that are safe and accessible for everyone who needs to use them. It also places Huntsville among the nation’s leading cities with robust multi-modal infrastructure programs.

“Our transportation needs are changing, and the City is focused on meeting the needs of our growing community,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “We’re improving major transportation corridors to move traffic, improving public transit, and we’re modifying some of our internal, minor collectors to make it safer for cars, bikes and people.”

A recent example of a “Complete Street” is Dr. Joseph Lowry Boulevard, the new connector from Governors Drive to Big Spring Park. It is designed to accommodate different modes of transportation, from cars to bikes and pedestrians.

“Policies like the one passed in Huntsville are urgently needed,” said Emiko Atherton, director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “The number of people struck and killed while walking has increased by 35 percent in the last decade nationally, at the same time that overall traffic fatalities have gone down. The good news is that we already have the solution: designing and building streets that are safe for everyone who needs to use them. A strong Complete Streets policy is the first critical step toward making that a reality across the country, and we applaud Huntsville for their hard work.”

Huntsville’s Complete Streets policy was created in 2018 by the City’s Urban Development team, which includes the departments of engineering, traffic engineering, planning, and public works. Huntsville Police and Fire departments were also involved in the process.

This Saturday, May 18, at 1 p.m., representatives from these departments will be hosting a demonstration project on bicycle and pedestrian safety on Four Mile Post Road. They will temporarily install safety improvements in and around the targeted crosswalk from the greenway to Jones Farm Park. The improvements will be up from May 17-28 for public review and comment.

Bike and Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project Demonstration, Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m., at the crosswalk to Jones Farm Park on Four Mile Post Road

The public is invited to provide feedback on the demonstration at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FourMilePost.

“Throughout The Big Picture master planning process, we heard the community say they wanted more transportation options, including greenways, bike lanes, and safer access for pedestrians,” said Dennis Madsen, Long-Range Planner for the City of Huntsville. ““Mayor Battle, City Council, and this administration have been working with the community to make it happen. We know we still have a lot of work to do to develop the ideal bike network, but recognition like this helps confirm we’re headed in the right direction.”

For more information, visit The BIG Picture website and check out the 2019 Alternative Modes Review.