I’m writing as a concerned citizen of Asheville, NC. I have studied the plans for the proposed widening of Merrimon Ave, and to myself and MANY other citizens of Asheville, it not only shows zero consideration for pedestrian and cyclist safety, but also seems to me as though it will serve ineffectively as a safe corridor for automobiles as well. Considering the fast rising cost of living in the area and the lack of jobs outside of the service industry (an industry that does not pay well) many people in the Asheville area cannot even afford an automobile, and are forced to commute by bicycle or foot. Thus, there are mothers, fathers, children, and even grandparents walking and biking these roads, sidewalks, and crosswalks as an absolutely necessary means of transportation. Your plans put all of these people in greater danger as they aim to not only prioritize automobile travel, but aim to INCREASE the speed of travel for these automobiles, on a road that is already incredibly dangerous to pedestrians. I don’t know if anyone involved in the planning and design process has ever ridden a bicycle on the road before, but it is absolutely absurd to consider 2′ a wide enough space for cyclists to occupy safely on a road that is as crowded, and fast paced as Merrimon Ave. and by widening the roads and allowing for increased automobile rate of travel, you’re putting more walking pedestrians at danger on sidewalks and especially in crosswalks. As someone who has lived in Asheville for 6 years, I understand that Merrimon Ave does in fact need to be overhauled and improved upon, but I beg that you PLEASE take more time to reconsider your plans, taking into account the transportation ideals of Asheville citizens, and considering the aforementioned mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents who have no other option than to commute as cyclists or pedestrians; and design a safer, more pedestrian friendly, Merrimon Ave. Thank you for your time and consideration.