There is great news for PHC, our community partners, and Asheville residents today! The Complete Streets Policy that was presented to the Asheville City Council yesterday has been adopted by the city. This policy mandates that new and renovated roads will include safety measures for pedestrians, bicyclists and bus riders.
Additionally, the council voted to pay a contractor $50,000 for a comprehensive traffic study of Charlotte Street, in an attempt to narrow the corridor from four to three lanes. This narrowing of the street will make the area more livable and provide safer access to bicyclists and pedestrians. However, some say it will clog traffic and delay emergency vehicles. Transportation staff replied that a conclusion has not been reached on the fate of the street and the comprehensive study will provide a complete look at the traffic situation.
Councilman Gordon Smith says he does favor three lanes, but could be swayed by study results. His goal is to help "create more walkable communities with distinct identities" which would help residents get around without cars and make the neighborhood safer.
In the past decade, approximately 50,000 people have died walking on dangerous roads. It is imperative that our roads be accommodating to all Asheville residents of all transportation modalities. The Complete Streets policy adoption and Charlotte Street study are a great accomplishments towards improving the quality of life of all people in Asheville, and making our region a healthier place to live, work and play. Congratulations and thank you to the members of our PHC committees!