RIVER RUNS THROUGH: Looking south, a calm French Broad flows well within its banks, with New Belgium Brewery under construction on the right. Drone photography by Dan Caylor

Costs and benefits: What’s the price of riverfront revitaliza­tion?

In her landmark 1955 book, The French Broad, Asheville author Wilma Dykeman said the river was “above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life.” She described a watershed rich in flora and fauna, ranging from the “fertile fields and gentle fall” through Transylvania and Henderson counties to the sudden “plunge between steep mountains” around Asheville, “strewn with jagged boulders.”

Asheville Council ponders sidewalks, Sunday bus service and stormwater

Asheville leaders could vote later this month to spend millions of dollars on sidewalks and greenways as part of a capital improvement program for the coming year. The budget also funds Sunday bus service in the city, starting Jan. 1. Yet some residents, and City Council member Chris Pelly, voiced concern during the June 10 budget hearing that such the sidewalk investment […]

Are greenways really green?

Recent news has featured a debate over Asheville's ambitious greenway plan, consisting of extensive construction along area waterways. The debate has focused primarily on individual landowners' rights versus public domain. But this misses the point. The position of [city] Parks and Recreation [staff], and of the environmental consultants whom they use,  seems to be largely […]

Connecting Buncombe: Plans call for linking many county towns, parks, neighborhoods and schools with about 83 miles of greenways along corridors such as the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers. map courtesy Equinox Environmental

The path ahead: County greenways plan faces major hurdles

After years of planning and public meetings, Buncombe County is poised to release a comprehensive proposal for an extensive greenway system linking towns, parks, schools and other key sites. Bolstered by recent successes in the city of Asheville, and by growing support for transportation alternatives, advocates are eager for the plan to be released (it’s […]