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Merrimon Widening Comment

Rachel: I’ve transitioned from bicycling as my main method of transportation in my former state to now relying on my car in Asheville, as the roads here have just too fast of speeds

From: Rachel Herndon
Date: Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 2:42 PM
Subject: AVL – Merrimon Rd. widening
To: chood@ncdot.gov

Hello,

I’m writing in regards to the NCDOT’s initial plans to widen Merrimon in North Asheville, NC. As a transplant and now long-term resident of Asheville, I am dismayed at the lack of safety on roads to promote inclusion of bicyclists. Even the lack of simple sidewalks for pedestrians is noteworthy. As Merrimon is one of the few non-highway roads in this city, it’s extremely important to me that any “upgrades” to it involve thinking of how to help bicyclists navigate the streets of Asheville (i.e. focus on including bicycle lanes that allow bicyclists to ride alongside traffic without forcing cars to move across any other traffic lanes/force bicyclists to either go off-road/fear they’ll be hit).
Despite owning two bicycles, I’ve transitioned from bicycling as my main method of transportation in my former state to now relying on my car in Asheville, as the roads here have just too fast of speeds and are too narrow for my comfort. The strong presence of highways connecting major parts of the town also disallow bicyclists to safely travel. Again, I’d like to emphasize that since Merrimon is one of the main roads in Asheville that isn’t a highway,  it is vital to preserve & improve upon its integrity to provide an alternative route for bicyclists. As tourism in AVL increases, native AVL citizens may in turn bike more frequently if such road improvements are made.
Please, consider and implement plans for Merrimon to become a road with an adequately wide bicycle lane, measures to calm traffic that don’t affect anyone’s commute, or at the simplest, add sidewalks that pedestrians & bicyclists may share.
Thank you,
Rachel Herndon