Huntsville drafts master plan for Five Points area

The plan also includes changes for Northeast Huntsville.

Posted: Jun 13, 2018 5:28 PM
Updated: Jun 13, 2018 6:52 PM

The City of Huntsville is getting closer to making changes to the Five Points area and Northeast Huntsville.

The changes that could be coming to the neighborhood are still in the beginning stages, but include making roads more pedestrian friendly, and possibly rezoning buildings in the area.

One woman who lives in the area told me she thinks the most exciting part of the draft the city's planning department presented is changing the lane structure on Oakwood Avenue.

"People who have mailboxes on this residential street can't check their mail like they used to and do it safely and calmly," Frances Akridge who lives in the area said.

The change is something the City of Huntsville's Long Range Planner, Dennis Madsen, told me shouldn't be hard to do.

"Four lane roads are kind of dangerous. You see a lot of rear-end accidents if you talk to the folks that work in traffic they don't like four lane sections. They actually prefer three because that center lane is dedicated to turning and it moves people out of the lane of travel," he said.

Similar changes are also being considered on Pratt Avenue, according to Madsen.

Another part of the plan includes adding bike lanes in the area.

One cyclist who lives in Five Points hopes that idea makes the final plan.

"It's really exciting because it shows the city is investing and cares about both multi-use infrastructure. Both pedestrians and cyclists alike. It's not all about the single occupancy car," Ben payment said.

Madsen told us the City's ideas for the area don't stop there.

One of the things we have touched on really briefly is rezoning some of the commercial properties. We want to talk to business owner first about what the implications are.

Madsen explained the rezoning the City is thinking about would bring businesses closer to the streets and place parking lots behind them.

However, there are a lot of details that would have to be worked out before rezoning could happen.

Payment told us as the city grows he's happy the planning department is putting a focus on improving older neighborhoods.

"It's tremendously important. The City has to balance funds across the entire city. Sometimes the old historic or older neighborhoods can get overlooked. They need sidewalk improvements and lighting enhancements just like new residences."

Madsen told us we could start to see some of these changes by the beginning of next year, but it could be at least five years until all the projects in the plan are complete.

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