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Merrimon Widening Comment

Jen: I am opposed to the current plan

From: Jennifer Woodward
Date: Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 11:15 PM
Subject: NO to Merrimon Avenue Widening Project
To: kbereis@hntb.com

Dear Kim,

I am opposed to the current plan.

The current proposed design prioritizes the movement of motor vehicles above public safety, multi-modal transportation options, neighborhood connectivity, and local economic development. It is evident that the prioritization of motor vehicles, above all else, is incongruent to the aspirations of the Asheville community when one reviews the existing city plans referenced above. Upon review of NCDOT’s plan, it’s apparent that NCDOT did little, if anything at all, to incorporate existing city plans or engage COA transportation and planning staff and the corridor community in the development of the current design. Poor process results in poor design and poor design puts people in peril.

The current plan not only ignores city planning efforts, but also fails to meet AASHTO design standards regarding bicycle and pedestrian facilities. No existing transportation standard supports the incorporation of a 2 foot ‘shared bicycle lane’ on a road with a 40 mile per hour design speed (as included in the current proposed plan). The bicycle facilities currently proposed are dangerous and we consider that part of your design to be a flagrant disregard for public safety.

Asheville on Bikes encourages NCDOT to disregard its current proposal and develop a proposal that incorporates the recommendations identified above.

In spite of these significant plan shortcomings, Asheville on Bikes foresees a future where NCDOT Division 13 uses its budget and engineering expertise as a willing partner that promotes Complete Streets and multimodal infrastructure throughout Western North Carolina.

As a step toward a better project and that better future, I request a face to face meeting with NCDOT engineers, design consultants and community members to discuss how to incorporate COA and the corridor community into the Merrimon Ave planning process so that the Merrimon redesign that prioritizes the movement of people above the movement of machines.

Respectfully,

Jennifer Woodward

Five Points Neighborhood President, 2016-2017