SHARE THE ROAD: Big changes are on the way for the River Arts District in the coming years, as the city of Asheville and its partners get set to begin a host infrastructure improvements aimed at improving transportation into and around the RAD and upgrading multimodal options for pedestrians and cyclists. Photo by Max Hunt

Road to redevelopm­ent: Big infrastruc­ture upgrades on RAD’s horizon

Asheville’s rustic, arts-and-industry-dominated River Arts District is on the brink of a major transformation. From road realignment, sidewalk construction and expanded bike lanes to an ambitious network of greenways with the RAD as its central hub, substantial changes will be taking place over the next few years that will improve the way residents and visitors to the city access, explore and inhabit the area.

GET A MOVE ON: Each spring, Asheville on Bikes executive director Mike Sule and other advocates help organize a Strive Not to Drive campaign to encourage multimodal  and active transit. Photo by Jake Frankel

City and county leverage resources to encourage active transporta­tion

Government agencies and departments from Buncombe County and the City of Asheville are pursuing a slew of initiatives that will reduce the barriers to active modes of transportation like walking, biking and using public transit. In addition to their environmental benefits, these coordinated efforts also promote mobility, health and well-being.

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 […]