Mr. Hood and Mr. Clark,
I am writing to express my strong opposition to the Merrimon widening. Anything that would lead to increased speeds would be unsafe for the many pedestrians who use this route. There is no need for commuters to go faster in this section of Merrimon given alternate nearby routes (Broadway and the interstate) give people quick access to Woodfin, North Asheville, etc. Merrimon is a street people use for shopping, eating out, running errands, etc — not for speeding home.
Particularly notable is the fact that this section of Merrimon is the main commercial area that UNCA students can access by walking. Making a plan that would likely lead to student deaths is just plain wrong.
In sum, Merrimon Ave is not like other state highways; it is a neighborhood artery.
As such, NCDOT should instead be planning for a complete street that increases safety for the many walkers and cyclists in the small neighborhoods surrounding this segment of Merrimon. NCDOT‘s plan should also allow for connection of our existing and planned local Greenways.
Thank you in advance for making efforts towards a street that will truly serve all the people that use it.
Local business owner