May is here, Volunteer! AoB hosts Tour de Fat & Strive Not to Drive


AoB is rolling urban cycling forward in May and you’re needed to assist with the pedalling. In the eleven years that we’ve been riding the city, this May is our most ambitious outreach to date. Are you ready to help us roll forward?

AoB is thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with New Belgium to host Tour de Fat on Saturday, May 20th following the annual Strive Not to Drive week. Below is a list of events with links to our volunteer forms. Please review the list and pick the event that works best for you.

Once again, I appreciate all that you do to roll AoB forward in our community. Let’s put the mission in motion this May.

Saturday, May 20th – Tour de Fat w/ Third Eye Blind at New Belgium
3:30pm – 10pm
Click Here to Volunteer
AoB seeks roughly 100 volunteers for the first annual Tour de Fat in Asheville. Tour de Fat is New Belgium’s festival that includes music, carnival acts, and great beer. Proceeds from the event support Asheville on Bikes. There are a variety of volunteer spots available for the day. Each shift it 3 hours in duration and includes a pass to the event. Simply click Volunteer Local and select the option that works best for you.

Friday, May 19th – Roll Outta Work
5:30pm – Gather at Pack’s Park
6:00pm – Pedal the Route
Click Here to Volunteer
Is there a better way to celebrate the end of the week than riding a bike? AoB doesn’t think so and we’re excited to launch our newest addition to our community rides as part of Strive Not to Drive Week. This ride gathers at Pack’s Park and meanders its way to New Belgium Brewing. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here.

Saturday, May 13th – Bright Light Biker @ Walkable Wall St
8:30pm – Gather on Wall St
9:00pm – Pedal the Route
Click Here to Volunteer
AoB is rolling out the red blinky lights for the kick-off of Strive Not to Drive Week with Walkable Wall St and the return of Bright Light Biker. Enjoy Wall St has a pedestrian district before hopping on the bike and participating in Bright Light Biker. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here.

2nd Hit & Run of AVL Cyclist in Nov.

The Asheville Police Dept. (AVLPD) seeks the community help in finding the motorist of a tan Toyota SUV who was involved in a hit and run on the the River Arts District (RAD) on Tuesday, Nov. 29th on Depot St. If you have any information on the motorist and/or witnessed the collision please contact AVLPD at 828 525 1110.

The cyclist who was hit is a 15 year old high school student who rides his bike from Asheville High to the RAD for art classes.  Allegedly, the motorist feigned calling the police, reported to the minor that the police wouldn’t attend to the scene, and then drove away leaving the minor alone.

In order to support AVLPD in contacting the motorist please share Asheville Citizen Times’ “Police search for driver in RAD hit and run with cyclist.” on your social media and share the story with your circles.

 

Let’s continue to work together to improve conditions for all people traveling by all modes in our community.

 

Apply: Youth cycling instructor position open

AoB Afterschool

AoB seeks youth bicycle instructor for our youth bicycle education program in conjunction with  Asheville Middle School and Asheville City Schools Foundation.

Qualified candidates should have prior experience working with youth, strong cycling skills, and a commitment to safe habits of riding. The potential instructor will need to pass a background check.

The afterschool program runs from Sept. 26th – December 19th. The class meets Monday’s from 3pm – 5pm for 12 sessions. Instructors are asked to attend two to three meetings as well. Compensation is $500 / semester.

To apply, complete the AoB Afterschool Instructor Application. Prepare responses to the following questions: 

  1. What interests you in working with Asheville on Bikes’s youth cycling program?
  1. Describe your experience working with students. What was the age group and what were your responsibilities?
  1. If you could lead a group of students on a five mile ride of Asheville, where would you go andy why?

Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. Thank you for your interest in Asheville on Bikes youth cycling education.

AoB Welcomes AVL’s First Bike Corral w/ City of Asheville & NCDOT

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Over the last year, The City of Asheville, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), West Asheville Business Association (WABA), and AoB partnered to explore the option of providing a bicycle corral somewhere along the Haywood corridor. A bicycle corral is a series of on-street bicycle racks that can provide parking for fifteen or more bicycles.  

In the summer of 2014 AoB’s director, Mike Sule and Barb Mee, the city’s pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, presented the concept of a bike corral to WABA since Haywood Rd has some of the highest bicycle counts in city. “Following the presentation, everyone supported the addition of a  bike corral. Frankly, I was a little taken back that the entire room was ready to move forward with the corral. Generally, there are a few skeptics. It just goes to show, there is  tremendous support for advancing active transportation throughout the business community,” says Sule.

Once WABA had endorsed the corral, the city was required to secure an encroachment agreement from NCDOT because Haywood Rd is an NCDOT maintained highway. “NCDOT was pleased to have worked collaboratively with the community on the bike corral project, we understand that this is a project of local importance. We were pleased to provide the encroachment agreement,” states Kristina Solberg, NCDOT Division 13 Planning Engineer.   

“NCDOT, Asheville’s transportation department, and the business community were incredible to work with. Each agency understood the value and worked diligently to respond to the need. The bike corral is a clear example that Asheville is a community that knows how to work well together. I appreciate the spirit of cooperation and inclusion throughout this project. I’m also ready to celebrate,” says Sule

First day on the job & a full house.

First day on the job & a full house.

Vice-Mayor Gwen Wisler, who is a bike commuter, herself, and has been active in Asheville’s cycling advocacy will serve as the city’s dignitary at the ribbon cutting. We are excited for the addition of our first on-street bike corral – installing multimodal infrastructure like this is one is a step toward meeting Council’s vision of a well-planned and livable community, and of transportation and accessibility. The City is also thrilled to have business support of this project,” states Wisler.

On Thursday, April 28th the community is welcome to participate in the ribbon cutting to welcome Asheville’s first bicycle corral. The event begins at 6pm. Representatives from each of the partnering organizations will say a few words at the ribbon cutting.

Following the ceremony, Westville Pub welcomes all to continue the celebration with music by DJ Jut Rut and a portion of New Belgium Brewing and Catawba Brewing Co. sales dedicated to support Asheville on Bikes.

Haywood Corral Ribbon Cutting:

6pm – 6:30pm     Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

6:30 – 8:00pm     Westville Pub Bike Corral Celebration

Haywood Rd Ribbon Cutting Event 

Asheville Citizen Times covers bike corral ribbon cutting.

                                    

AoB Encourages You to Support the Beaucatcher Greenway

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photo credit: AshevilleGreenways.com

The City of Asheville is currently taking public comment on the proposed Beaucatcher greenway and community input is essential to the success of this project. There is no guarantee that there are enough votes on city council to approve this plan. If you support expanding

Approx. location of greenway, relative to downtown along Beaucatcher ridge.

Approx. location of greenway, relative to downtown along Beaucatcher ridge.

Asheville’s greenway system along the Beaucatcher ridge, please be sure to voice your support through Open City Hall,  the city’s online public input platform before Sunday, April 3rd.

AoB director, Mike Sule, sent the following letter to city council and encourages supports to reference AoB’s support for the Beaucatcher greenway.


Asheville City Council
70 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801

Asheville on Bikes (AoB) supports approval and construction of the Beaucatcher greenway because: greenways are a valuable public asset, our community has demonstrated overwhelming public support for their expansion, and this project helps our city achieve the goals established in Asheville City Council’s 2036 Vision.  On Tuesday, April 12th you’ll have the opportunity to advance our community’s investment in greenways. On behalf of Asheville on Bikes, I encourage you to approve the Beaucatcher greenway.

A small number of individuals have criticized the Beaucatcher greenway for not providing essential transportation connectivity to goods and services. These people have argued that the funds for Beaucatcher greenway should be invested in other more critical projects. However, the TDA funds for this greenway are dedicated solely for this project: We either use these funds or lose them.  Additionally, many on city council have advocated for TDA funds to be invested in Asheville’s infrastructure. What message does it send if city council refuses the money for expanding our greenways? This is an opportunity to build momentum through a project that increases our citizens’ access to greenways, increases quality of life, and promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Furthermore, a greenway that rolls through the natural world and connects to a park is just as valuable as one that connects to goods and services. Transportation systems should connect people to beautiful settings.  Our greenway system needs to reflect the values of sustainability by connecting people to both services and the natural world. To pit one against the other is to misunderstand the value of greenways.

It’s sometimes easy to forget the costs associated with accessing the natural world. It’s expensive. Unless you’re a very fit hiker or cyclist,  access to Bent Creek, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the majority of other trails and parks requires an automobile. Despite our city’s location, many in our community have very limited access to the natural world. The Beaucatcher greenway opens up new possibilities for our citizens to experience nature and engage in healthy lifestyle habits.

I encourage all members of city council to review Asheville City Council’s 2036 Vision and consider the positive impacts of Beaucatcher greenway on our community. If council is committed to advancing the 2036 Vision it should recognize  that the Beaucatcher greenway promotes the following elements of the 2036 vision:

  1. A DIVERSE COMMUNITY, by providing access to healthy transportation and the opportunity for all people to participate in the natural world.
  2. A WELL-PLANNED AND LIVABLE COMMUNITY, by increasing the abundance of open spaces, parks and greenways.
  3. TRANSPORTATION AND ACCESSIBILITY, by providing  greenways and bike facilities to get people where they want to go safely and keep them active and healthy.   

Let’s continue to work together to build a greenway system that moves all kinds of people to a variety of destinations.

Respectfully,

Mike Sule
Asheville on Bikes

HOW CAN I HELP?

You can respond by either supporting Asheville on Bikes’ letter of support or you can include your own comments, here.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THIS LETTER

Additionally, you can contact your council representatives directly and/or sign the petition in support of Beaucatcher greenway.

Asheville City Council can be reached:
Mayor Esther E. Manheimer – esthermanheimer@avlcouncil.com
Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler – gwenwisler@avlcouncil.com
Councilman Cecil Bothwell – cecil@braveulysses.com
Councilman Brian Haynes – brianhaynes@avlcouncil.com
Councilwoman Julie Mayfield – juliemayfield@avlcouncil.com
Councilman Gordon Smith – gordonsmith@avlcouncil.com
Councilman Keith Young – keithyoung@avlcouncil.com

Path of proposed greenway, running from Memorial Stadium, above McCormick Field, through Beaucatcher Overlook Park and ending near Helen's Bridge and Beaumont St.

Path of proposed greenway, running from Memorial Stadium, above McCormick Field, through Beaucatcher Overlook Park and ending near Helen’s Bridge and Beaumont St.

I – 26 Connector Public Hearing – Monday, Nov. 16

I-26 Header

On Monday Nov. 16th, North Carolina and the Federal Highway Administration will host a public hearing on the the I-26 Connector at the Renaissance Hotel Grand Ballroom, 31 Woodfin St.

Asheville on Bikes encourages people to participate in the public hearing. The format is set up to be a drop in event to learn and discuss the connector. The public hearing format will be:

4pm – 6:30pm: Pre-Hearing Open House to answer questions and receive comments on the project.

7pm: Formal public hearing

AoB encourages people to RSVP to the public hearing and share the event with your circles.

The I-26 Connector Project, which has been organized by Mountain True, has a page which enables people to post public comment and sign on to the I-26 ConnectUs Vision principles.  The I-26 Connect Us Vision principles is:

To ensure the long-term health and success of the economy, citizens, and environment of Asheville and the surrounding area, the final design and construction of the Asheville I-26 Connector should achieve:

  • safe travel for interstate and local traffic;
  • improved connections between neighborhoods and from neighborhoods to major roads for all modes of local traffic – pedestrian, bike, car and bus;
  • minimal destruction of neighborhoods, homes, and businesses and remediation of past highway project impacts on minority and low-wealth communities;
  • maximum return of land to Asheville’s tax base for the City’s use and benefit;
  • minimal harm to air and water quality; and
  • improvements that match the scale and character of Asheville.

For more reading on issues with the I-26 Connect:

Don Kostelic of Kostelic Planning published an editorial in the Asheville Blade, “Chicken Little’s laboratory”.

Community Pushing Back Against Plan to Widen Interstate Through Asheville,” Streeblog USA.

DOT decisions on I-26 Connector in Asheville loom,” Asheville Citizen Times.