Merrimon 4-3 Road Reconfiguration Resource Page

Make Merrimon the Main Street of North Asheville!

Asheville on Bikes supports a 4-3 road reconfiguration for Merrimon north of downtown Asheville. Here are some of the articles and explanations of the project. We will keep this page updated as we go!

We commend the City of Asheville and NCDOT for proposing this 4-3 conversion.

Latest News, Updated May 2022:

Best current resources:

Other current resources:

Results of public survey revealed as City of Asheville sends project to council

Why a 4-3 conversion is a good idea for Merrimon:

  1. Because Merrimon is already in a 3 lane traffic pattern. Each car in the center lanes of the 4 lane road, waiting to turn left, blocks traffic flow. In essence, Merrimon is a two lane road with two center turn lanes. This wasteful design results in turbulent traffic patterns, increased collisions, and a lack of space for other multimodal uses. It also means that the approximately 20,000 cars/day the road sees now are going to flow just fine if the lane pattern changes to to 3 lanes – because that’s how many functional lanes the road has now. FHWA calls this a “de facto 3 lane configuration”, in section 3.3.1.
  2. Because a 3 lane reduces points of conflict between cars from 8 possible collisions to just 4, reducing collisions from all causes by about 29%. The current 4 lane pattern is resulting in an average of 14 collisions per month, 20% of those with injuries. It’s unconscionable to us to put back the road the way it is now.
  3. Because safer, slower streets with predictable traffic are good for business and for the health of people who frequent the street. A calmer Merrimon will benefit the surrounding property owners and help businesses thrive.
  4. Because Merrimon traffic volumes are within the range where road diets are appropriate. And looking back over the last 20 years, the traffic volumes have remained in a similar range, hovering around 20,000 cars per day.
  5. Because widening the road would induce demand for driving and destroy a large amount of private property, without providing offsetting benefits like improved walk-ability, bike lanes, and a pleasant main street environment built to a human scale. In 2018, a road widening plan for the north end of Merrimon was defeated with 80% of public comments against it. Here’s the logic: Widening to 5 or more is wasteful, expensive, and destructive; the current 4 lane is very dangerous, makes walking and biking unsafe, and holds back “main street” economic development; and a 3 lane traffic pattern offers known solutions for those same problems. The 3 lane design is the best option for improving life in north Asheville.

Case studies:

Past resources:

Related posts:

Youtube channels we like, about more than just 4-3 conversions:

FHWA Video. “Road Diets, A Proven Safety Countermeasure”

Social Media graphics you can share: