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Merrimon Widening Comment

Debra: Walkability is WHY we settled here and to lose points to this widening plan when we could be GAINING them, is crazy

From: Debra Frasier
Date: Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 2:21 PM
Subject: Merrimon Widening! Wait a minute!
To: chood@ncdot.govmgclark@ncdot.gov

Dear NCDOT decision makers,

I am delighted to hear that you are considering upgrades to Merrimon, SR 25. But I am very concerned to see a plan that might be suitable for a suburban non-pedestrian area suddenly dropped down into the middle of a highly trafficked bike and pedestrian urban street! I saw pictures of other intersections in Asheville already using this same plan and was shocked that our urban setting was not taken into consideration. I KNOW we can do better than this!
Let’s slow down the process here, take input from the community, and build something anyone would be proud to live next to—as I do, on Fenner, just off the proposed work zone. Walkability is WHY we settled here and to lose points to this widening plan when we could be GAINING them, is crazy. I have seen several of the COMPLETE STREETS success stories that take a similar situation to ours here on Merrimon, and slow traffic down, while keeping movement constant, all while increasing pedestrian access, along with bike traffic…and economic impact scores increase! Let’s not take a Tunnel Road solution and stick it on to a very different situation! Use your own brilliant COMPLETE STREET guidelines to guide us here?
The Weaver/Merrimon intersection will only GROW in pedestrian traffic as UNCA grows in stature. The Greenway—that will one day be the jewel of this city’s future planning in connectivity—needs your vision to CONNECT, not to block, this visionary fluid people-mover. Together we have an opportunity to transform this dangerous street into something beautiful, befitting it’s central role in such a vibrant, people-rich, urban center.
Let’s do that together. Stop. Listen. Vision. Then we go!
Sincerely,
Debra Frasier