Why spend lots of money fixing Charlotte Street if it’s not broken?!
City Council recently passed the Charlotte Street diet program. The plan calls for Charlotte Street to become three lanes, allowing for bike lanes.
If you use Charlotte Street regularly, like I do, you will know that at certain times of the day, even with four lanes, there are traffic jams from Chestnut Street all the way to Edwin going south, and from the traffic light on Chestnut all the way to Edwin going north.
While I generally support more bike lanes and green initiatives, this proposed plan is not sound. It will cause even more traffic congestion with cars idling as they wait to drive down Charlotte Street. As cars idle, more exhaust will be created, which will cause more air pollution in the area neighborhoods.
Neighbors living in these areas who have asthma or compromised breathing issues will find it even harder to breathe, especially during the summer when the air is heavier with humidity. Walkers and bikers will also experience the air filled with fumes.
With the recent climate change report released last month, scientists predict temperatures to rise and air quality to decline. Does Asheville, the “green” town, really want to contribute to poorer air quality?
The cost of this project is estimated to be $1.25 million for the 50 bikers and walkers who use Charlotte Street daily. Come on, Asheville, can’t we think of a more thoughtful and efficient way to promote clean energy?
— Ann McMartin