With more people interested in the live/work/play lifestyle, walkable neighborhoods are becoming more popular. Fort Worth has a reputation as not being a “walkable” community, but that's not necessarily true. Pockets of the city are pedestrian-friendly with sidewalks and good access to public transportation. Our Trinity Trails network spans 80 miles across the city with foot and bike-traffic friendly sections. And finally, the city of Fort Worth is working to improve pedestrian transportation through the addition of more sidewalks and public transport connections.
That said, evaluator WalkScore ranks Fort Worth as the 41st most walkable city in the United States. For Texas, the city ranks better than some other nearby communities, like Frisco and Flower Mound, but it falls behind Dallas and Plano. Do remember that inside our cities, some places are simply easier to walk around compared to others, as we highlight in this list.
What exactly defines a “walkable” neighborhood and how is it evaluated?
WalkScore developed an evaluation method using a Walk Score advisory board seated with urban planners and researchers. Leading academic researchers have validated their evaluation system. Their patented system analyzes hundreds of walking routes and their proximity to nearby amenities, population density, and road metrics.
WalkScore says that walkable neighborhoods are defined by seven characteristics:
- A neighborhood center, such as a main street or a public space like a park.
- Mixed-income and mixed-use, meaning of fordable housing located close to businesses
- Public spaces, like parks where people can gather and play
- Pedestrian design, with buildings close to the streets and parking lots in the back.
- Schools and business places, located close enough so the residents can walk to them from their home.
- Planned space for foot traffic such as sidewalks.
- People, enough for public transit to run through the area and to feed the local businesses
- Completed streets, designed for transit traffic, bicyclists and pedestrian traffic.
Neighborhoods scoring 90-100 points are described as a “walker’s paradise,” where residents do not need to own a car. Example cities in this category would be New York, San Francisco, and Boston. A score of 0-24 means a car is definitely necessary. The highest rated neighborhoods in Fort Worth fall into the 70-89 range, meaning most errands can be accomplished on foot.
WalkScore also created a system for evaluating a city’s transit system and friendliness for bicyclists.
The advantages of walkable neighborhoods
Original cities were built around the idea of being able to walk to everything you need. This means residences, work, and necessary amenities were all within a comfortable walking distance. The motor vehicle shifted the need for dense urban cores.
Now there has been a cultural shift back towards this style of living and away from a reliance on motor vehicles as a way to get to work and to school. In fact, reports are showing that people are willing to pay up to 75% more to live in communities with walkable urban real estate.
“These metros that have the most walkable urban real estate also have a tremendous premium for what people are willing to pay for rental estate and for sale,” said one of the study’s co-authors, GWU Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis professor Christopher Leinberger, in Streets Blog. “Not only are people willing to pay a tremendous price premium, but this is also where the majority of net absorption of new space is going.”
Walkable neighborhoods are becoming attractive again because of their benefits to our environment, finances, health and communities. People living in walkable communities tend to weigh a 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a more sprawling environment. They're also able to reduce their reliance on motorized transportation, sometimes becoming a one-car or no-car household. Vehicles represent the second largest household expense in the United States. Owning fewer vehicles directly translates to more savings for those individuals.
Additionally, fewer cars on the road translates to reduced CO2 emissions. Air pollution from transportation negatively impacts local resident health and contributes to global warming. Walkable communities report healthier communities with less polluting gases and particles from fuel.
Fort Worth Walkable Neighborhoods
Some Fort Worth neighborhoods ranked higher than others when it comes to walkability. The best neighborhoods offered proximity to dining and retail, public spaces, and education centers. What are the most walkable communities in Fort Worth?
Linwood neighborhood scored highly for walking and bicyclists, with some minimal public transit. Located just north of the Cultural District, the residents are close to some popular cultural attractions like the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The neighborhood is built around Jesse Sandoval Park. Surrounding its borders are restaurants, coffee shops, nightlife, and other retailers. The Trinity Park and its trail system is a short distance away.
There's been a lot of redevelopment happening in Linwood, under a new zoning designation called Urban Residential. New retailers are springing up along the West 7th corridor and there is a plan to develop The Foundry District in the old warehouses that are near the neighborhood. All the redevelopment will keep improving Linwood's walkability.
The home styles here are varied and represent different time periods in Fort Worth history. The oldest date back to the 1940s, but most of them are newer-built townhomes. Homes tend to go for $450,000 – $570,000.
2- Bluebonnet Place
WalkScore ranked Bluebonnet Place as the most walkable neighborhood in Fort Worth. It scored 82 out of 100 points on their metrics, even though it did not rank highly for public transportation or cycling access.
Residents in Bluebonnet Place are close to amenities sprinkled along W. Berry St., like I-Pho, a popular Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant, and Dwell Coffee & Biscuits, a favorite on Yelp for it's matcha green tea latte and signature in mini biscuits.
Nearby schools include Paschal High School and Texas Christian University. For green space, Bluebonnet Circle Park serves a public gathering space and center for retail. Homes in the neighborhood tend to range between $270,000 to $700,000.
3- Bluebonnet Hills
Designated as Fort Worth’s third most walkable neighborhood, Bluebonnet Hills follows the trend of scoring well with walking and not as well with public transportation and bicycling.
This community lies to the west of Bluebonnet Place and south of Texas Christian University. This historic Community dates back to the 1930s. It is close to Mclean Middle School and Saint Saint Andrew Catholic School. Bluebonnet Circle Park lies within its borders, along with its surrounding retailers. Residents are close to a local Kroger for their grocery needs, with more retailers around Bluebonnet Park. One popular restaurant is the Greenwood’s German restaurant and Bakery. The sporting complexes of TCU are within walking distance.
The homes in Bluebonnet Hills tend to go for around $130,000 – $695,000. Stylistically, you'll find a lot of prairie Bungalow and Tudor-style cottages.
4- Downtown Fort Worth
Downtown cores tend to be the most walkable area of metropolitan areas, and Fort Worth's downtown is no exception. WalkScore rated it highly for bicyclists and gave it a moderately decent public transportation score to pair with its high walkability standing. Downtown is described on Neighborhoods.com as being “very bikeable.”
Residents living in downtown Fort Worth are close to many amenities, both cultural and lifestyle oriented. Nearby is the popular Sundance Square, with its public pavilion, restaurants, bars, shopping, and entertainment spaces. For professionals, the downtown office spaces and corporate headquarters make work commute exceptionally short. Downtown is close to the Trinity River trails and has public gathering spaces in Burnett Park, Hyde Park, and General Worth Square. Tarrant County College has a campus along the Trinity River.
You can see the downtown lifestyle has plenty to offer for work and play. An increasing number of housing options are available in the downtown Fort Worth area, from luxury condominiums to loft space. It is possible to find some single-family homes nearby. Housing costs range from $167,000 to $1,100,000.
5- Cultural District
This neighborhood is highly walkable and bikeable. The streets here are tree-lined boulevards surrounded by shops, restaurants, and Fort Worth’s historical attractions. Residents live close to the art galleries, science exhibits, world-class gardens and our theaters.
Food aficionados will find restaurants catering to all kinds of tastes. The dining scene is abundant and plentiful. The Fort Worth Botanical Garden and Trinity Park offer ample green spaces a short walk away from the homes. Plus, the district is a short commute to downtown Fort Worth and its professional work spaces. The city of Fort Worth has a walking map for the cultural district.
The homes of the Cultural District range in their style in their size. There are some rather luxurious mansions with large shaded lawns in this area. Home prices range $243,000 to $789,000.
Frisco Heights ranked as the seventh most walkable neighborhood in Fort Worth on WalkScore. It's just north of Bluebonnet Hills and Bluebonnet Place. To the west is Texas Christian University. Some residents have voiced concerns about TCU buying up the properties in their neighborhoods and changing its character. Its proximity to the university does mean that it is attractive to students and employers.
Frisco Heights is also close to Paschal High School, but it is lacking in some of the shopping and dining that helps other neighborhoods rank higher. The nearest green spaces are on TCU’s campus or north in Forest Park.
This is a varied community with homes of construction in different time periods, some dating back to the 1930s. The homes here range from $70,000 – $625,000.
This historic neighborhood comes in as the ninth most walkable neighborhood in Fort Worth, and does well in the bikeable score, with a 63. The residents here are proud of Fairmount’s culture and architecture. The community is known for its annual tour of historic homes.
Along Magnolia Avenue, residents enjoy local eateries, coffee shops and bars. Fairmount is sprinkled with clubs and music venues. Daggett Middle School lies within its borders. Residents have three green spaces: Daggett Park, Fairmount Park, and Fire Station Park. The Smith Hospital is just to Fairmount’s east and All-Saints Medical is to its west. For students, it’s conveniently close to TCU.
The community is home to bungalow and four-square style homes, some dating to the early 1900s. Home prices range from $149,900 to $795,000.
8- Scenic Bluff
The walkable Scenic Bluff gets its name from a pretty obvious feature: the scenic bluff overlooking Fort Worth. This area is just outside of the bustling downtown but it is close to Fort Worth amenities and transportation corridors. The area has a multicultural atmosphere evident in the local restaurants. Local eateries lie along Sylvania, Race, and Belknap streets. Local favorites include Fuzzy's Taco Shop, Enchiladas Ole, and the Smoke Pit.
Residents have access to Riverside Park along the west fork of the Trinity River. Nearby is Oakhurst Elementary and the Fort Worth Public Library.
Homes here tend to range from $110,000 to $495,000. Property sizes tend to be larger than other urban neighborhoods, and the home styles are wide-ranging.
Southside Fort Worth is a compact walkable area with a lot of shops and specialty boutiques. It’s also known as “Magnolia” after the street running through it. Fairmount lies on its southern border. The nearby freeways mean quick access to the rest of Fort Worth, but in the meantime it has a mix of housing options and entertainment within walking distance. Take advantage of the bike sharing companies operating in the area to jump on the Trinity Trails or just to ride around the area.
This is a casual and creative community, with what Fort Worth calls, “‘restaurant rows,’ distinctive live music venues, distilleries, breweries, and plenty of artistic endeavors all within walking distance.” There are special events like Friday on the Green, Open Streets, and Arts Goggle. Trimble Technical High School is here, as is Cook Children’s Medical Center.
Housing types have a range in the area, with single family homes and condominiums in assorted styles. Home prices range from $79,995 to $1,050,000.
Finding your walkable community
By no means are these the only walkable communities found in Fort Worth. Many newer developments are adding pedestrian paths and bicycle lanes to accommodate the growing trend.
Fort Worth is always growing and changing, which is why having a knowledgeable professional on your side is the best way to find the right neighborhood for you. It may take more work to find the right place, but you can live without a car in Fort Worth.
If you want a community that gives you easy access to work or specific amenities, talk to our Fort Worth real estate agent. We can help find the right community and housing situation for your lifestyle goals.