The Big Picure: Your Study. Your Vision. Your Plan for the City of Huntsville

Greenway Master Plan

The greenway network offers so many benefits to the residents of Huntsville: Connections, community, health, home value.  All of these ideals will drive the implementation of the greenway plan in all corners of the city.

Greenways
 Visionary Greenway  Existing Trail  Proposed Greenway  Existing Greenway  Future Greenlink  Greenlink  Complete Streets Corridor

Vision

  • Every residence in the City of Huntsville is within one mile of a greenway.
  • The Greenway network is used as a recruiting tool for new industries and workforce.
  • The Greenway network is among the most frequently-visited tourist destinations in North Alabama.

Summary

Greenways are among the most popular public spaces within the City of Huntsville.  Aldridge Creek and Hays Nature Preserve are among those most frequently cited, but often followed up by an exhortation to build more greenways, and quickly.  In an effort to accelerate the design and construction of the network, the City is partnering with the Land Trust of North Alabama to identify and fund upcoming greenway projects.  This effort is the core of the Greenway Master Plan update.

In the coming years, the partnership will focus on getting as many miles as possible on the ground.  This will be done by identifying priority projects for which the land is either already owned by the City or Land Trust, or which could easily by acquired.  It will look at segments that will not require excessive design, engineering, or construction, and it will simplify the types of paths installed.  In many cases, rather than lay down concrete paths (which can be very expensive per mile), less expensive materials like gravel can be used in the short term, to get the paths used.  Once the paths are more heavily trafficked, and funds are acquired, a more permanent path can be installed.

The greenway network offers so many benefits to the residents of Huntsville: Connections, community, health, home value.  All of these ideals will drive the implementation of the greenway plan in all corners of the city.

The “Process” outlines how the BIG Picture got to where it is today.  This section contains past entries on community feedback, policy discussions, and economic analysis, as well as videos of special events and the speaker series.  This section provides the background that set the stage for developing the Principles, Policies, and Places that make up the BIG Picture.

In December 2017, the City of Huntsville Planning Commission approved the Greenway Master Plan update. The map that was presented at the Planning Commission meeting on December 19, 2017 is shown below.

Download Expanded Greenway Map Legend (PDF)

Proposed Greenways (red): Corridors planned to begin construction within five years from plan adoption.

Visionary Greenways (orange): Corridors planned to begin construction beyond five years from plan adoption. Some corridors may be built sooner based on land and funding availability.

Existing Greenways (solid green): Greenway segments that have been completed.

Greenlinks (dashed green): Existing sidewalk connections between greenway segments.

Visionary Greenlinks (orange): Proposed sidewalk connections between greenway segments.

Trails (purple): Existing dirt paths that connect to the greenway network. (For informational purposes only)

Complete Streets Corridor (blue): Existing street scheduled to be modified to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians as well as cars. (For informational purposes only)

Proposed and Visionary greenways could be built as either a dirt trail, an unpaved (crushed gravel) greenway, or a paved greenway depending on location and funding availability:

Comments

In May 2017, the City of Huntsville and the Land Trust of North Alabama held three public involvement meetings for the City of Huntsville’s Greenway Master Plan Update. An online comment period coincided with the public meetings.

The comment period for this plan ended on May 31, 2017. Thank you!

Actions

  • Project: Update the Greenway Master Plan on a monthly basis with anticipated timelines for future projects and active timelines for ongoing projects. The plan will be jointly maintained by the City of Huntsville’s Planning Department and the Land Trust of North Alabama.
  • Project: Require that any new developments or subdivisions adjacent to an existing or planned greenway segment, be required to provide at least one connection to the greenway as part of the development agreement. The connection/s should match the standard of the existing or planned segment.
  • Project: Provide yearly updates on planning and implementation progress to the Planning Commission and City Council. Share with the public via the BIG Picture and general communication channels.
  • Project: Maintain and expand community partnerships with organizations like the Land Trust of North Alabama.
  • Project: Per the plan update, add 44 miles of greenways within the next 5 years.
  • Project: Encourage events and activities along the Greenway network. These might include arts installations, farmers’ market, 5K runs, community festivals, etc.
  • Project: Maintain updated maps, including hard copies for distribution.