Asheville on Bikes does not endorse candidates. We do advocate for policies and design standards that advance our active transportation network and we recommend that any public official adopt the positions we outline here.
Asheville is one of the most dangerous cities in NC for people walking, biking, and driving. Therefore, city, county, and state leadership should address this public safety issue by making aggressive and continuous changes to improve our land use regulations and our transportation network until Asheville is the safest place to in North Carolina to walk or ride a bicycle.
- Invest in downtown affordable housing. The best way to connect people to places is to invest in urban density. Transportation is a component of land use. Improve and advocate for land use regulations that advance density and complete street facilities.
- Formally adopt National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) design standards into its Standards & Spec Manual to inform Complete Street Design on future road projects. Furthermore, Asheville should formally join as a NACTO Membership City.
- Multi-Modal Transportation Commision (MMTC) voted to recommend adoption in 2017; council has not acted to formally adopt NACTO design standards.
- Spend $50 million on active transportation before spending $1 on Thomas Wolfe auditorium. Invest in facilities that have the greatest impact on the most people. Prioritize facilities that improve public safety, health, and encourage economic development. Invest in the following ways:
- Invest in an active transportation network which means building greenways, building protected bike lanes, and building sidewalks. It also means lowering design speeds, restricting on street parking, building neighborhood traffic circles, and improving bus service. Set goals for miles of built infrastructure, per year.
- Invest in reconnecting our City to downtown via active transportation routes to diversify the mode share. Build at least one family-safe biking and walking route for each place in this list: Oakley, Kenilworth, Haw Creek, Beverly Hills, Southside, Shiloh, the Biltmore Estate, Chestnut Hills, Grove Park, Montford, UNCA, AB Tech, West Asheville, North Asheville, and Emma. An 8 year old and an 80 year old should feel equally comfortable on these routes.
- Develop a natural surface policy to expedite and enhance our active transportation network. Identify one area to test a natural surface trail project improvement in 2020. Use the success of Form Based Code implementation.
- Expand flexible zoning. Use more Form Based Code.
- Develop a tactical urbanism policy informed by the Coxe Avenue Tactical Urbanism Report.
- Evaluate and publish the tax consequences of all transportation projects. Does the project decrease private land ownership? What is the value of those lost taxes over time? Does the project account for the future maintenance and replacement costs of the infrastructure involved?
- Develop a land banking policy or strategy for active transportation infrastructure as recommended by the City of Asheville’s Greenway Committee.
- Meter all on street parking in the Central Business District and implement demand based pricing; price the parking based on demand and charge the highest rates in the highest use parts of downtown.
- Invest in bicycle and pedestrian counting technology so that counts can occur more often and with motor vehicular counts.
- Adopt and enforce an active transportation mitigation construction policy so that when construction encroaches into the public right of way pedestrian and bicyclists safety and connectivity isn’t compromised.
- Require temporary bicycle parking as part of all downtown festivals and events permitting process.
- City council appointments to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) should champion and advocate for the construction of the The Hellbender Trail. This greenway network of 155+ miles of regional multi-use paths is currently being studied by the French Broad River MPO. This network will connect Hendersonville, Brevard, Asheville, Swannanoa, Black Mountain, Candler, Canton, Weaverville, and Mars Hill in a plus-shaped network. Build it within 10 years, which is a similar amount of time to the I-26 connector project.
- Our Coronavirus pandemic response should include changes to our transportation network, including: City and state should designate a slow streets network; City and State should cooperate to implement safe commerce zones, a.k.a. pedestrian priority zones; Volunteers and community organizations should be invited to help implement the changes.
Are you a reader? You are invited to check out our reading list:
- National Association of City Transportation Officials
- Smart Growth America
- People for Bikes’ Building Equity Report
- Strong Towns and the work of Charles Marohn
- Nine Keys to Safe Downtown Streets and the works of Jeff Speck
- Bike Lanes are White Lanes – Melody L. Hoffmann
- Street Fight – Jannet Sadik – Khan
- Walkable City & Walkable City Rules – Jeff Speck
- Strong Towns – Charles L. Marohn, Jr.
- For the Love of Cities – Peter Kageyama
- Triumph of the City – Edward Glaeser
- The Death and Life of Great American Cities – Jane Jaccobs
- How Cycling Can Save the World – Peter Walker
- Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language – Christopher Alexander
Selected AoB Public Comments, Letters, and Reports:
- Coxe Ave Report re: tactical urbanism
- I-26 Questions and Concerns
- Sweeten Creek widening and redesign
- Merrimon widening opposition
- Respond to TDA Survey
- Amboy Meadow Road Widening
- Charlotte Street Road Diet
- Letter: “Asheville, One of the Worst Cities for Crashes…”
- Research Finds Most Women Prefer Separated Bike Infrastructure
Get to know this map of fatal collisions for all traffic, layered with bike/ped injuries:
Read our other 2020 Election Voter content: