Excessive traffic seems to be the worst problem for residents in Houston, and with an expected population growth of 12 percent by 2020, the problem is bound to get worse.
In order to help homebuyers avoid the constant traffic problem, HoustonProperties.com ranked the top 11 most accessible cities for those without a car. The following ranking is based on walkability and entertainment. Besides dozens of interviews, an analysis of the best restaurants lists from multiple sources was conducted as well as a comparison to a Forbes study which looked at “The Most Walkable Cities in Texas.” The top ranked grocery stores and the comparison of each neighborhood to Houston’s Best Public School Guide was also considered in the evaluation.
- Houston Heights: The Heights was ranked fourth in CNN Money’s Top 10 Big City Neighborhoods. The town located just north of I-10 was also called “one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Houston” by Culturemap.
- Montrose: Montrose is walking distance from Downtown Houston and The Medical Center. Over 50 restaurants and bars, including nine restaurants that consistently make the list of “Top Restaurants in the State of Texas,” are all accessible to those without a car.
- Museum District: This area is the second in the country (following only Manhattan, NY) with the largest number of museums in a contiguous area. It features 19 museums, dozens of which provide free admission every day, all within a 1.5-mile radius.
- Midtown: Midtown residents have easy access to the MetroRail to two of the city’s biggest commercial districts. It is walking distance to nearly 180 restaurants, bars and coffee shops, all located within the neighborhood.
- Downtown Houston: The central Inner Loop is one of Houston’s most accessible areas for the 200,000 people who work downtown. Equipped with its own MetroRail station and local bus service, the neighborhood houses just under 3,000 residents. The 25 residential downtown loft and condo buildings are all part of the “small community feel” that the town provides.
- Upper Kirby: Surrounded by schools, restaurants, bars, shopping centers and more, Upper Kirby is one of the most accessible neighborhoods in Houston. Those who live here but work in Downtown Houston or the Medical Center have just a few minute walk to work every day.
- Hyde Park / River Oaks Shopping Area: Houston’s most expensive neighborhoods is also one of the most accessible based on its location in the center of Houston. It is just north of the Upper Kirby district, and just a 15 to 20 minutes from Downtown, Galleria and the Medical Center.
- Rice Military: Located right in the center of Houston’s Inner Loop, this neighborhood is minutes away from Memorial Park, one of the nation’s largest urban parks with one of the largest trail systems anywhere in the city.
- Galleria / Uptown Park: Just outside the Inner Loop, this neighborhood is one of the most accessible. It is close to Memorial Park and just 15 to 20 minutes from Downtown Houston and the Medical Center. Because land values are high, most residents in this neighborhood live in condos and high rises.
- West University: This neighborhood is one of Houston’s Top 20 Most Expensive Neighborhoods. But, the easy access to Downtown Houston, the Medical Center and Houston’s Inner Loop, make it one of the most accessible as well.
- EaDo / East Downtown: Near the major business district of Downtown Houston, this is area is up-and-coming as of about 10 years ago. The area has seen one of the largest investments in capital projects of any part of Houston. It was previously known as “Houston Chinatown” and filled with cheap land, but now benefits from a MetroRail expansion, the new BBVA Soccer stadium and multiple new apartment and townhome complexes.