No decisions yet on Charlotte Street corridor improvements, city staff say

The Jewish Community Center gymnasium was full tonight, Feb. 6, with residents and Asheville City staff and City Council members. The topic: Transportation issues — particularly bicycling infrastructure — for a half-mile stretch of Charlotte Street.

According to the city’s announcement about the meeting, “Members of the community will have an opportunity to hear from City of Asheville transportation department staff concerning concepts for changing the traffic pattern for the Charlotte Street corridor between the I-240 bridge and the intersection with Edwin Place. 

The meeting was organized in response to a request by a group of neighborhood and business representatives that the city revisit the 2002 Charlotte Street Transportation Enhancement Study. 

City staff will present data from recent traffic studies and information about potential elements that could be included in the design if the project is developed for implementation.  Input from neighborhood residents and area businesses is an essential next step before a project proposal is developed.”

Although Mountain Xpress was not able to attend, several residents dispatched live updates via Twitter. Here they are:

The Twitterati:

@brainshrub Paul Van Heden
@clbonline Chris Berthiaume
@avlbizvoice Jeff Joyce
@jatkin02 Jeff Atikinson
@davidforbes (himself)
@gordonsmith (himself)
@mvwilliams Margaret Williams

@brainshrub 6:21 p.m. Tweeting from Bicycle Infastructure meeting at JCC. Staff presentation on bike lanes for Charlotte Street.

@clbonline 6:35 p.m. Tweeting from #avl community meeting on potential changes to Charlotte St.

@davidForbes 6:36 p.m. RT @brainshrub: Tweeting from Bicycle Infastructure meeting at JCC. Staff presentation on bike lanes for Charlotte Street.

@clbonline Biz owners and residents represented and cookies!

@clboneline 6:36 p.m. Tweeting from #avl community meeting on potential changes to Charlotte St.

@clbonline 6:36 p.m. Great turnout for #avl community meeting on changes to Charlote St corridor.

@clbonline 6:37 City staff present and meeting starting.

@clbonline 6:39 Former #avl city Council candidates Saul Chase and Yael Gray present. Asheville On Bikes also represented.

@clbonline 6:41 City Staff Marsha Stickford, Nieghborhood Coordinator, presiding over meeting. Clear statements that no decision made yet.

@clbonline 6:43 Current city council members. Gordon Smith, Chris Pelly, and Mark Hunt also present at Charlotte St corridor meeting.

@gordonsmith 6:43 Full house for Charlotte St. corridor community mtg.

@clbonline 6:44 Surveyed #avl residents results being read. Usage, safety, etc.

@brainshrub 6:44 18% of people living along Charlotte bike commute. According to presentation.

@clbonline 6:46 Charlotte St corridor committee is made up of 6 biz owners and 6 residents and city staff.

@clbonline 6:49 Potential plan design meant to improve walk-ability, safety and beauty.

@ashevillewine 6:50 Charlotte Street corridor meeting…ah, the joys of business ownership. (@ Asheville JCC)

@davidforbes 6:50 While I can’t be there this evening, #avlgov still has citizens’ thoughts on the Charlotte St. Corridor meeting.

@brainshrub 6:50 Ken Putnam: Conversation about Charlotte Street goes back to 1996.

@clbonline 6:51 Transportation Dir. referencing 96 study on potential changes to Charlottw St corridor. “we’ve got lots of documents.”

@alvgizvoice 6:53 City staff making report at #cltstmeeting say decrease in traffic on clt st and no crash problem over last 5 yrs

@brainshrub 6:53 Putnam: Studies for feasibility for bike lanes are still in early stage.

@clbonline 6:54 City staff very clear that no decisions made but studies being made. Currently focused on traffic flow. Q&A opening up.

@clbonline 6:55 Facilitator Linda Giltz setting ground rules for discussion.

@clbonline 6:56 Mark Hunt now seems to be missing after recognition for attending.

@clbonline 7:00 Questions on traffic currently at Charlottte St Corridor meeting.

@brainshrub 7:00 Someone compliments Ken on his awesome hair, which is, in fact, awesome. Would make a good bike helmet. #avlbike

@clbonline 7:02 Vice-mayor Esther Manhiemer just arrived.

@brainshrub 7:03 Comment “Quit spending millions on Charlotte, and spend it on poorer neighborhoods.”

@gordonsmith 7:06 Council Members Marc Hunt and Chris Pelly in the audience at Charlotte St. corridor mtg.

@brainshrub 7:06 Councilpeople at meeting: Chris Pelly, Marc Hunt, Gordon Smith, Ester Manheimer.

@clbonline 7:08 Distance of corridor to be potentially changed is 1/2 mile in length.

@clbonline 7:09 Some traffic calming in #navl area paid for by the Grove Park Inn.

@mvwilliams 7:11 Great citizen Twitter dispatches from the Charlotte St. multimodal transportation meeting!

@avlbizvoice 7:11 City staff notes that clt st width is 10 ft. Ideal width for highways is 12 ft. Concern mentioned over big vehicles ie fire trucks

@brainshrub 7:12 Difficult to keep the audience asking questions instead of making comments.

@clbonline 7:15 More comments and concerns from the room. Many residents present.

@brainshrub 7:16 Jake Quinn “How many of you are pedestrians on Charlotte?” Most hands go up & lots of peeps said “I would”!

@clbonline 7:18 Clarity that Broadway road expansion is still slated on #NC DOT project for I-240 at #avl.

@clbonline 7:24 My question for #avl Charlotte St Corridor. Any free money or grants out there for this project?

@clbonline 7:26 City staff clarifying that power poles in middle of side walks is not allowed in other #avl neighborhoods

@brainshrub 7:26 Putnam: Ideally staff tries to do a 5 foot utility strip + 5 foot sidewalk.

@ashevilleonbike 7:28 @gordondsmith Agreed. Hats off to the city for working hard to expand our transportation options.

@ChantalSaunders 7:37 I’m all about bikes, but there are so many much more dangerous roads for bikes in asheville, like swannanoa river rd.

@gordonsmith 7:39 Folks are really focused/concentrating at Charlotte St. corridor mtg.

@jatkin02 (replying to @ChantalSaunders) &:49 @ChantalSaunders Swannanoa River Rd. is also NC81. State road not a city road, so the city cannot do much there.

@brainshrub 8:01 p.m. Miller “3 lanes would be dangerous. Would want sidewalks to go into property, not into street.”


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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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