Get There AVL Candidates Forum

Asheville City Candidates Take on Transportation

Asheville on Bikes, Western North Carolina Alliance, Asheville Design Center, and Blue Ridge Bicycle Club host a discussion of Asheville’s transportation issues.

Get There AVL returns to host a candidates’ forum focused on the issues of transportation. Join us Wednesday, Sept. 25th at Clingman Cafe from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

The event provides mayoral and council candidates the opportunity to discuss their positions on transportation and how they intend to impact the city’s infrastructure.

“Asheville hosts several plans designed to enhance how citizens move about their city. The next generation of political leaders face the challenge of implementation and consolidation of city plans. The people of Asheville see the value of moving our city forward. They’re looking for candidates who can champion the implementation,” says Mike Sule, creator of  Get There AVL and Director of Asheville on Bikes.

Get There AVL provides each candidate a chance to address the challenges of Asheville’s transportation infrastructure. The format promises to be both dynamic and informative. “We’ve organized the event so that participants will have a chance to meet candidates before and after the formal question and answer period. It’s important that candidates have a chance to hear the varying perspectives around transportation,” says, Julie Mayfiled, Co-Director of Western North Carolina Alliance.

Get There AVL is co-hosted by Asheville on Bikes, Western North Carolina Alliance, Asheville Design Center, & The Blue Ridge Bicycle Club.

EVENT INFORMATION
Get There AVL
Wednesday, Sept. 25th, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Clingman Café, 242 Clingman Ave.
The event will be held in the parking lot of Clingman Café. Asheville on Bikes provides a bicycle corral. The restaurant will remain open throughout the event to serve beer, wine and snacks.

Get There AVL 2013 poster

NC wants to eliminate bike & pedestrian funding!

This is serious. The Senate Version of the Strategic Transportation Investments Bill will strip out ALL funding for Bike/Ped projects. This is going to impact transportation funding for years to come, and it’s moving fast!

The Senate version of H817 will eliminate state funding for bike and ped projects not under construction by June 30, 2013. We have a small window of time while the bill is reconciled with the House bill to let our representatives know that this issue is important to our State.

1) Please take a moment to send a personalized email to you representatives (Click here to find your representative.). Take a moment to let them know why safe biking and walking alternatives are important to you, your children, your business, your property values.

2) Call Speaker Tillis’ office at 919-733-3451, and ask him to keep bike/ped funding in the transportation bill. Let him know who you are–business person, private developer, job creator, young professional, etc.

Please make your call or email personal but here are some points that may resonate:

  • Greenways and trails are the number one amenity that people look for when choosing a new neighborhood.
  • Greenways and trails are the number one amenity requested in Parks and Recreation surveys throughout North Carolina.
  • Developers are including trails within their neighborhoods and locating near trail networks to increase their property values.
  • Property values are higher the closer your home is to a trail or park.
  • A robust trail network can help kids get to school without riding the bus or being driven by parents.
  • Childhood obesity and type two diabetes in children has skyrocketed. Walking or riding to school can help children get the exercise they need. In 1969, 50 percent walked to school; by 2004 the figure was down to 14 percent.
  • Access to transportation alternatives both transit and bicycle and pedestrian facilities have been proven to lower body weight. One estimate of the country’s annual medical bill for physical inactivity: $117 billion!

Greenways, trails, and sidewalks aren’t a luxury–they are a key investment in North Carolina’s future. The economic, health, and environmental benefits of biking and walking aren’t in dispute. Citizens overwhelmingly prefer neighborhoods and cities that support multimodal transportation. Let’s remind the General Assembly that their constituents are paying attention–and that bike/ped funding is too important to cut.

Tell NCDOT that bikes matter!

The North Carolina Department of Transportation held a public comment session in April regarding proposed changes to the I-26 / 191 (Brevard Road) interchange. Major concerns remain after that meeting. NCDOT will accept comments via email until this Wednesday, May 8. NCDOT’s plan is in clear violation of its own policies and ignores both the Buncombe County Greenways Master Plan and the City of Asheville Bike Plan. Asheville on Bikes urgently invites you to tell NCDOT that these guidelines matter and that all people deserve safe transportation options.

Show your support for cyclists and pedestrians in Buncombe County! Cut and paste the following and send it to Anthony Tata, Secretary of Transportation (ajtata@ncdot.gov), Michael Wray, NCDOT Project Development and Environmental Analysis Unit (mgwray@ncdot.gov), and AoB (ashevilleonbikes@gmail.com) before this Wednesday, May 8.

If you’d like to step away from the computer screen for a moment, you can also have your say by calling Michael Wray at (919) 707-6050.

Dear Mr. Tata and Mr. Wray:

NCDOT’s proposed changes to the I-26 / Brevard Road (191) interchange in Buncombe County stand in clear violation of NCDOT’s own Complete Streets Guidelines and Healthy Transportation Policy, and disregard both the NCDOT/MPO-funded Buncombe County Greenways and Trails Master Plan and the NCDOT-funded City of Asheville Bicycle Plan. I urge you to bring this project into compliance with these guidelines, for the benefit of all road users.

This project currently does not accommodate people of all ages and abilities, including people too young to drive, people who cannot drive, and people who choose not to drive–all groups expressly mentioned in NCDOT’s Complete Streets Guidelines. The pedestrian and bicycle facilities included on this project are minimal or inconsistent in how they were presented at the recent public comment session, and NCDOT’s handouts failed to mention any mode of transportation beyond the vehicular. In failing to accommodate access for all users, the design elements shown at the workshop do not comply with the “Purpose of the Project” statement, which acknowledges that “NC 191 (Brevard Road) connects residential, workplace, shopping, recreational, and visitor destinations in South Asheville.” With Asheville’s designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community, the enormous economic benefit of bicycle infrastructure, and multimodal transportation on the rise nationwide, surely NCDOT doesn’t believe that these connections occur only by car and truck?

When our own citizens are left out of project considerations, and when state and local guidelines are cast aside, we all lose. I ask you to ensure that this major project complies with the NCDOT Complete Streets Guidelines, the NCDOT Healthy Transportation Policy, Buncombe County’s Greenways Master Plan, and the City of Asheville’s Bicycle Plan. The changes you make will have a lasting impact on the people who live, work, and travel through Buncombe County, and I urge you to remember travelers in all modes of transportation as you complete this project.

Thank you,
Concerned Citizen and Cyclist

For more detailed information, including links to all policies and plans mentioned, read on: