To NCDOT and whom it may concern,
As a citizen and professional in the City of Asheville I wanted to submit feedback for this project and express strong opposition to the proposed plans. The Division 13 plans do not follow the Complete Streets policy adopted by the City as well as the NCDOT Complete Street policy. The widening will increase motor vehicle speeds on this road and discourage active transportation, which is directly against the goals of NCDOT and the municipality. Allowing 2-3 feet of a shared lane does not count as a cyclist friendly street. Please consider reviewing Asheville in Motion and Asheville City 2025 plans for recommendations, and understand how significant of a corridor for all forms of transit Merrimon Ave is.
I advise NCDOT to follow AASHTO standards for active transportation and give the minimum width of 4 feet for cyclists. Couldn’t the proposed plan be changed to allow at least 4 feet for cyclists in each direction of Merrimon?
Please know that the City, citizens of the city, and professionals who work in the field feel strongly opposed to this plan and that their concerns are valid and should be addressed further. At the minimum please take longer to design alternatives to this widening effort. If this plan goes through, Asheville will lose any chance of becoming a truly connected city.
I would appreciate a response addressing any and all concerns addressed here.