I neglected to include you in my email to Mr. Clark. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Dear Mr. Clark,
Although I was unable to attend the recent public hearing on the Merrimon Ave. widening project, it would appear that the proposed plan is flawed from the start.
NCDOT failed to invite participation from the City of Asheville during the design and development of this project. Merrimon Ave. is a state-maintained road, however, NCDOT sought no input from the City and how the plan impacts local neighborhoods.
The proposed plan does not take into account the desire of the City to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and local residents.
Widening Merrimon Ave. is not necessary as traffic flow has remained relatively flat for more than a decade. If the proposed plan was implemented, it would increase traffic, speed and accidents along the corridor.
Using advanced left turn traffic signals appears to be a possible option but NCDOT has failed to explore and propose this approach.
With all due respect, please reconvene your staff and seek participation and input from the City of Asheville, local residents, Merrimon Ave. businesses and pedestrian and bicycle groups.