Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

AlabamaGuy2007

Best Alabama cities to merge

Which two cities in Alabama would merge to become a better single city?   31 members have voted

  1. 1. Which two cities in Alabama would merge to become a better single city?

    • Huntsville and Decatur
      3
    • Birmingham and Hoover
      7
    • Birmingham and Bessemer
      3
    • Montgomery and Prattville
      1
    • Mobile and Prichard
      3
    • Anniston and Oxford
      1
    • Auburn and Opelika
      3
    • Tuscaloosa and Northport
      5
    • Florence and Muscle Shoals
      0
    • Gadsden and Attalla
      1
    • Other: Explain
      4
    • None
      0

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

33 posts in this topic


How about Huntsville and Madison? I know it will never happen, but it would make Huntsville the state's 2nd largest city. Anniston/Oxford and Gadsden/Attalla are other good candidates for mergers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about Huntsville and Madison? I know it will never happen, but it would make Huntsville the state's 2nd largest city. Anniston/Oxford and Gadsden/Attalla are other good candidates for mergers.

Yea, you're right I shoulda included that one in there too. But, wouldn't merging Huntsville and Decatur make a larger 2nd largest city? Though I'd rather Decatur be independant through and through, but I wouldn't mind being part of the 2nd largest GROWING city in Alabama. That is, as long as it's named Huntsville-Decatur, and not just Huntsville.

Merging Gadsden and Attalla wouldn't make much sense, cause, if you drive down Cleveland Ave, or Meighan Blvd. from Attalla towards Gadsden, you can't really tell where Attalla ends and Gadsden begins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chance of any of those cities merging is unlikely due to the politics in this state. IIRC at one point there were discussions of the quad cities (Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia) of merging, but I don't think it got beyond just discussion.

To address the question at hand in the poll, Huntsville and Madison, as jmanhsv suggested, would be a great canidate for a merger. Both cities are growing and are great cities by themselves. By merging into one large city, the two cities would be better and larger than what's there now. No disputes over local road projects would occur (Zierdt Road and Slaughter Road come to mind here). Moreover, a merger between the two largest cities in Madison County could pave the way for a metro government for Madison County. If any of the choices mentioned thus far have a shot at all at merging and/or forming a metro government, I would believe that Huntsville and Madison have the greatest shot at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chance of any of those cities merging is unlikely due to the politics in this state. IIRC at one point there were discussions of the quad cities (Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia) of merging, but I don't think it got beyond just discussion.

To address the question at hand in the poll, Huntsville and Madison, as jmanhsv suggested, would be a great canidate for a merger. Both cities are growing and are great cities by themselves. By merging into one large city, the two cities would be better and larger than what's there now. No disputes over local road projects would occur (Zierdt Road and Slaughter Road come to mind here). Moreover, a merger between the two largest cities in Madison County could pave the way for a metro government for Madison County. If any of the choices mentioned thus far have a shot at all at merging and/or forming a metro government, I would believe that Huntsville and Madison have the greatest shot at it.

All of that last paragraph is true too. Cause Decatur and Huntsville are only connected at a space that is about 1/2 mile wide on I-565. Each city (Huntsville-Decatur) would have something to gain by merging, but the two city just have too much pride to put it in place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of that last paragraph is true too. Cause Decatur and Huntsville are only connected at a space that is about 1/2 mile wide on I-565. Each city (Huntsville-Decatur) would have something to gain by merging, but the two city just have too much pride to put it in place.

Also, Huntsville and Decatur are two separate metro areas altogether. Although they are bound together into the Huntsville-Decatur CMSA, Decatur is really split between a bedroom community for Huntsville and an economic center of its own. From what I see, many people west and south of Decatur commute there to work while many in Decatur, Priceville, and Somerville and northern Morgan County commute to Huntsville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, Huntsville and Decatur are two separate metro areas altogether. Although they are bound together into the Huntsville-Decatur CMSA, Decatur is really split between a bedroom community for Huntsville and an economic center of its own. From what I see, many people west and south of Decatur commute there to work while many in Decatur, Priceville, and Somerville and northern Morgan County commute to Huntsville.

I agree with the second sentence completely. I live in Decatur, and it's really pretty much the same amount of people that live in Decatur commute to Huntsville that stay in town. It's literally a gridlock into Decatur on Alabama 20/Alt 72 after 5:00 PM. But just as many cars are going home from an in town job as are out of town. The proportions of people that still work in town is what's keeping Decatur in it's own metro area. But we all know that HSV would rather have Decatur in its metro area. Decatur's finally starting to pull away from Huntsville and be more independant. I think that Huntsville's gonna fight to the death to cling on to what's left of "their" part of Decatur.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to agree re: Huntsville-Madison.

The Florence/Quad-Cities area would probably benefit from consolidation, and I think assorted combinations have been discussed for decades (sometimes formally), but I'm not familiar enough with the area to know if there's any chance.

Tuscaloosa/Northport probably won't happen, but it isn't as unlikely as some of the other choices.

Unlike a typical "city-suburb" situation, Tuscaloosa and Northport are more like mismatched "twin cities," as they share very similar racial, economic, and historical characteristics, and both are slowly growing.

The library and park systems are already countywide, and both municipalities use Lake Tuscaloosa as their main water source. Furthermore, Tuscaloosa's current mayor has spoken in favor of future government consolidation efforts. Any opposition would come from Northport, which although it lacks the tax base of Tuscaloosa, does take pride in its own sense of place and own little downtown dating back about as far as Tuscaloosa's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I tend to agree re: Huntsville-Madison.

The Florence/Quad-Cities area would probably benefit from consolidation, and I think assorted combinations have been discussed for decades (sometimes formally), but I'm not familiar enough with the area to know if there's any chance.

Tuscaloosa/Northport probably won't happen, but it isn't as unlikely as some of the other choices.

Unlike a typical "city-suburb" situation, Tuscaloosa and Northport are more like mismatched "twin cities," as they share very similar racial, economic, and historical characteristics, and both are slowly growing.

The library and park systems are already countywide, and both municipalities use Lake Tuscaloosa as their main water source. Furthermore, Tuscaloosa's current mayor has spoken in favor of future government consolidation efforts. Any opposition would come from Northport, which although it lacks the tax base of Tuscaloosa, does take pride in its own sense of place and own little downtown dating back about as far as Tuscaloosa's.

Yea, I wouldn't really see any point in Tuscaloosa and Northport merging, they wouldn't get anything out of it that they would benefit from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the second sentence completely. I live in Decatur, and it's really pretty much the same amount of people that live in Decatur commute to Huntsville that stay in town. It's literally a gridlock into Decatur on Alabama 20/Alt 72 after 5:00 PM. But just as many cars are going home from an in town job as are out of town. The proportions of people that still work in town is what's keeping Decatur in it's own metro area. But we all know that HSV would rather have Decatur in its metro area. Decatur's finally starting to pull away from Huntsville and be more independant. I think that Huntsville's gonna fight to the death to cling on to what's left of "their" part of Decatur.

I think a Huntsville-Decatur MSA is possible by 2010, especially with the fact that almost 20% of Decatur residents commute to Huntsville daily, and many more on the way because of BRAC. But I still stop short of calling Decatur a suburb; it has its own industries, and the city just doesn't have that "suburban" feel (except in SW Decatur). In the next decade, I see Huntsville-Decatur becoming a lot like Nashville-Murfreesboro; still not a fully-dependent suburb, but more of a "satellite city" with commercial and residential development connecting the two cities. And a lot more traffic. :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a Huntsville-Decatur MSA is possible by 2010, especially with the fact that almost 20% of Decatur residents commute to Huntsville daily, and many more on the way because of BRAC. But I still stop short of calling Decatur a suburb; it has its own industries, and the city just doesn't have that "suburban" feel (except in SW Decatur). In the next decade, I see Huntsville-Decatur becoming a lot like Nashville-Murfreesboro; still not a fully-dependent suburb, but more of a "satellite city" with commercial and residential development connecting the two cities. And a lot more traffic. :angry:

Thank YOU!!!!!!!!! You're one of the few people that actually understands that Decatur has always been it's own independent city.

I don't know about HDCSA turning into Nashville-Murfreesboro. I'd view it more like Dallas-Fort Worth. If you look at DFW, you see A LOT of similarities between it and HDCSA. There's an interstate dividing them, they both were founded seperatly, one is larger than the other, they share an airport (though, Decatur, for some reason, sold it's right to the name, but the airlines still call it Huntsville-Decatur Intl.), and the list goes one.

Southwest does look more like a suburb. There's actually a reason for that. Albany Decatur, and New Decatur grew out of eachother. New Decatur developed out of the side of Albany, and thus turned into more of a suburb. But of course the cities eventually melded to form present day Decatur. So, because of all this, Southwest and West Decatur look like suburbs, while Eastern Decatur looks more like a core city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, I wouldn't really see any point in Tuscaloosa and Northport merging, they wouldn't get anything out of it that they would benefit from.

As it currently stands, Northport has a poor commercial base, but a huge amount of developable land (including choice land near the lake) that is either within the city limits already or could be annexed. Tuscaloosa has a good commercial base, but doesn't have the big chunks of prime undeveloped land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As it currently stands, Northport has a poor commercial base, but a huge amount of developable land (including choice land near the lake) that is either within the city limits already or could be annexed. Tuscaloosa has a good commercial base, but doesn't have the big chunks of prime undeveloped land.

What about the areas around the Lake Tuscaloosa Dam off of New Watermelon Road and Rice Mine Road? Those are some of the wealthiest portions of Tuscaloosa, and there is plenty of undeveloped land to the north of that area and northeast of the lake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about the areas around the Lake Tuscaloosa Dam off of New Watermelon Road and Rice Mine Road? Those are some of the wealthiest portions of Tuscaloosa, and there is plenty of undeveloped land to the north of that area and northeast of the lake.

Yes, that area is the fastest-growing part of the City of Tuscaloosa.

There's a lot of residential construction out there (including some new million-dollar+ homes) & some annexation going on, all the way to Lake Nicol.

The planned eastern bypass will eventually connect the dam area to Tuscaloosa County High, which is Northport's fastest-growing area.

The last illustration from the most recent Northport strategic plan shows the huge amount of land Northport is targeting along that corridor for possible annexation and development :

http://www.cityofnorthport.org/Sites/S22/D...CP_Meeting2.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Got anything to support why??

Well, it makes sense given that they're right next to each other now. :lol:

Of course, I voted for Mobile and Prichard to merge... while that might not make them "better", the quicker Prichard ceases to exist, the better (now whether the good folks of Mobile want to be saddled with them, that's another story). Ultimately, I think Mobile, Montgomery & Huntsville should consolidate with their respective counties. Birmingham is a tougher nut to crack because of the presence of Hoover, two completely different political entities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Birmingham is a tougher nut to crack because of the presence of Hoover, two completely different political entities.

...and Bessemer, Fairfield, Hueytown, Sylvan Springs, Pleasant Grove, Center Point, Fultondale, Gardendale, Tarrant, Warrior, Morris, Brookside, Kimberly, Graysville, Adamsville, Clay, Trussville, Leeds, Irondale, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Cahaba Heights, Helena, and Sumiton (I think that's all the municipalities within Jefferson County).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and Bessemer, Fairfield, Hueytown, Sylvan Springs, Pleasant Grove, Center Point, Fultondale, Gardendale, Tarrant, Warrior, Morris, Brookside, Kimberly, Graysville, Adamsville, Clay, Trussville, Leeds, Irondale, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Cahaba Heights, Helena, and Sumiton (I think that's all the municipalities within Jefferson County).

Yeah, them, too... :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fieldmarshaldj.....yeah I dont think Prichard and Mobile would have a happy marriage. Mobile would ahve to spend its money on fixing prichard up. I dont think anybody would really want it. But then again That is the only real city that borders mobile in mobile county besides chickasaw.....which is only 6,000 and of coarse daphne and spanish fort in Baldwin county....but they are in a different county. They would kill eachother before merging with eachother so I doubt they would want to merge with Mobile. Mobile has a lot of unincorporated populated land around it especially to the west and south and some small pockets to the North. the city is going to start a campaign soon that will possibly give those areas tax breaks if they decide to annex into the city pushing Mobile's population in the the upper 200,000s. But yes I agree that Mobile should merge with Mobile County. It would save a lot of money!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fieldmarshaldj.....yeah I dont think Prichard and Mobile would have a happy marriage. Mobile would ahve to spend its money on fixing prichard up. I dont think anybody would really want it. But then again That is the only real city that borders mobile in mobile county besides chickasaw.....which is only 6,000 and of coarse daphne and spanish fort in Baldwin county....but they are in a different county. They would kill eachother before merging with eachother so I doubt they would want to merge with Mobile. Mobile has a lot of unincorporated populated land around it especially to the west and south and some small pockets to the North. the city is going to start a campaign soon that will possibly give those areas tax breaks if they decide to annex into the city pushing Mobile's population in the the upper 200,000s. But yes I agree that Mobile should merge with Mobile County. It would save a lot of money!

Awesome, that campaign sounds like a really good idea. If it works out, it could be a great model for cities all of the Country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome, that campaign sounds like a really good idea. If it works out, it could be a great model for cities all of the Country.

Living in Nashville, Tennessee, we're one of the earlier examples of city-county consolidation (where we went from a declining inner-city of 170,000 to about 400,000 in 1962 -- we're nearly 600,000 today). There are upsides and downsides to consolidation. One of the biggest downsides can be losing local control (especially if you live in a less developed or suburban area of the county) and being left to the mercy of those that don't know (or care) about your neighborhood (or consider it to be a low priority). Sadly, the section of Nashville I live in, the infamous Antioch, has suffered as a result of the merger (the city itself deciding to use us as a dumping ground or for ill-advised social experimentation). This might very well be a more prosperous and less crime-ridden area had we had control over our locale. However, as a whole, mergers can be beneficial -- it's just that individual areas can be weakened. A mixed bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree.... there are going to be bad things with everything. But if future city-county consolidations happen I'm sure they will look at other cities that have done it. finding their strengths and weaknesses and try not to repeat those mistakes. nothing will be perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, new poster. :-)

I started to vote Florence & Muscle Shoals, but with qualifications. I assume you don't exclude the more widely discussed concept of a larger consolidation including Tuscumbia & Sheffield. I'm torn between two different ideas for streamlining the jurisdictions of the area.

On one hand I'd like to see more experimentation with city-county consolidation and re-establish the primacy, as it were, of the County. It makes for a nice middle-ground between ragtag, gerrymandered incorporations and larger regional constructs with more bureaucracy and diminishing returns. I'd like to see combined countywide operations as an option for most services of government, i.e. police departments, fire departments, sanitation, emergency response, schools, misc. permitting, bulk purchasing, dog catchers, etc. It would be nice to get a new Alabama constitution or legislation making such options more easily available. Naturally, this should be voluntary - the voters can decide what construct best affects their interests. If Waterloo decides it must fund it's own school system, such is life, no need to lock the doors at a party. If the model is attractive and given a fair shot it will take off.

However on that basis, consolidation in The Shoals results in two groupings rather than one - Sheffield, Muscle Shoals & Tuscumbia as the largest developed area in metro Colbert and Florence as the largest developed area in metro Lauderdale. I think this is more likely than a pan-Shoals jurisdiction including Florence carved out of both counties. And there is something comforting (to me anyway) about city limits not crossing county lines. It would serve as an example to the state and region, in an execution that's more to scale than Nashville-Davidson, Jacksonville-Duval, Philadelphia or San Francisco which involved major metros in their own right.

On the other hand, there's the Enchilada Grande, a Shoals metro including all four cities with vague and varying involvement by other incorporated cities and the two counties. The romantic in me that appreciates the 1898 New York City consolidation and follows the EU finds this more attractive sometimes. There would be egos to be soothed and a voter base in Florence to be convinced they aren't marrying down. I imagine some sort of City Hall/civic center based in downtown Florence. Naming the resulting metro "Muscle Shoals" has appeal to me, with strong branding potential nationally and even globally (without involving a torturous renaming campaign around The Awkward And Vague "The Shoals.") Strong neighborhood branding would work to retain flavor and identity of the predecessor cities and zones (street signs, lamps, naming conventions) while the metro gains economies of scale for infrastructure and services (roads, libraries, hospitals, schools, police). It could work.

And then I remind myself where it is I'm thinking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, new poster. :-)

I started to vote Florence & Muscle Shoals, but with qualifications. I assume you don't exclude the more widely discussed concept of a larger consolidation including Tuscumbia & Sheffield. I'm torn between two different ideas for streamlining the jurisdictions of the area.

On one hand I'd like to see more experimentation with city-county consolidation and re-establish the primacy, as it were, of the County. It makes for a nice middle-ground between ragtag, gerrymandered incorporations and larger regional constructs with more bureaucracy and diminishing returns. I'd like to see combined countywide operations as an option for most services of government, i.e. police departments, fire departments, sanitation, emergency response, schools, misc. permitting, bulk purchasing, dog catchers, etc. It would be nice to get a new Alabama constitution or legislation making such options more easily available. Naturally, this should be voluntary - the voters can decide what construct best affects their interests. If Waterloo decides it must fund it's own school system, such is life, no need to lock the doors at a party. If the model is attractive and given a fair shot it will take off.

However on that basis, consolidation in The Shoals results in two groupings rather than one - Sheffield, Muscle Shoals & Tuscumbia as the largest developed area in metro Colbert and Florence as the largest developed area in metro Lauderdale. I think this is more likely than a pan-Shoals jurisdiction including Florence carved out of both counties. And there is something comforting (to me anyway) about city limits not crossing county lines. It would serve as an example to the state and region, in an execution that's more to scale than Nashville-Davidson, Jacksonville-Duval, Philadelphia or San Francisco which involved major metros in their own right.

On the other hand, there's the Enchilada Grande, a Shoals metro including all four cities with vague and varying involvement by other incorporated cities and the two counties. The romantic in me that appreciates the 1898 New York City consolidation and follows the EU finds this more attractive sometimes. There would be egos to be soothed and a voter base in Florence to be convinced they aren't marrying down. I imagine some sort of City Hall/civic center based in downtown Florence. Naming the resulting metro "Muscle Shoals" has appeal to me, with strong branding potential nationally and even globally (without involving a torturous renaming campaign around The Awkward And Vague "The Shoals.") Strong neighborhood branding would work to retain flavor and identity of the predecessor cities and zones (street signs, lamps, naming conventions) while the metro gains economies of scale for infrastructure and services (roads, libraries, hospitals, schools, police). It could work.

And then I remind myself where it is I'm thinking about.

I think the only places that would ever do city-county are Mobile-Mobile County, Huntsville-Madison County, or Montgomery-Montgomery County. Though it would be weird to drive into Mobile or Montgomery and see welcome to Mobile-Mobile, or Montgomery-Montgomery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.