Downtown Asheville Residential Neighbors, the Asheville Downtown Association and volunteers from Keller Williams, a local realty company, recently completed a walkability study for downtown Asheville.
“The study was in response to the downtown community and specifically DARN’s request to identify issues with crosswalks and inferior sidewalks and curb cuts as well as inaccessible areas of the central business district” said Byron Greiner, the ADA’s issues committee chairman.
Volunteers from these organizations surveyed and photographed downtown crosswalks, sidewalks and streets and noted any problems that might affect a person’s ability to move safely through the area. Volunteers then ranked each area as high, medium or low priority. One of the volunteers is wheelchair-bound and was able to focus on areas that are not Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliant.
The study was presented to the Downtown Commission and the City of Asheville’s Transportation Department. Both acted quickly to get started on some of the higher priority areas pointed out in the study. One such project, a mid-block crosswalk on Lexington Avenue, is currently underway.
“We will be creating a much needed mid-block pedestrian crossing that will allow citizens to safely move across North Lexington Avenue,” said John A. Gavin, senior project engineer with the city in an email.
You can view the walkability study here. Slides are organized by urgency with red being highest priority, yellow medium priority and green lower priority.
DARN was formed in 2005 to bring downtown residents together as neighbors, and to give them a voice in community issues. DARN sponsors neighborhood social functions, communicates with City officials on topics of concern to its members, and works with other organizations to make living downtown a positive experience. In 2008 DARN adopted Pritchard Park providing and maintaining all the planters, flowers and greenery in the park as well as funding the construction of a new waterfall in the park this year. DARN also provides and maintains the planters and flowers at the visitor center for the Thomas Wolfe House.
About the Asheville Downtown Association
The ADA celebrates its 25th year serving the downtown community in 2012. Founded in 1987 by a group of business owners, residents and city staff, the ADA remains committed to the preservation and improvement of the central business district through programming, civic support and annual objectives. As the voice of downtown residents, merchants and workers, the ADA advocates for policies and practices that will best help growth and preserve the quality of life in downtown. Annually, the organization produces events including Downtown After 5, the Asheville Holiday Parade, Oktoberfest, the State of Downtown Luncheon and the Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program. The Asheville Downtown Association Foundation carries out the altruistic goals of the ADA including the Spare Change for Real Change program.