So, the halving of Merrimon Avenue’s ability to handle traffic appears to be to provide two lanes formerly available to move traffic to accommodate orange barrels! Wow — what a plan!
And, speaking of plans, instead of wasting all that money to destroy Merrimon Avenue, why wasn’t it used to improve and fix the well-known antiquated water system that left so many people without water for extended periods over the holidays? And please don’t tell me it’s money from a different department; let’s try to use some common sense.
Or is that in the same category as dedicating two lanes of traffic to orange barrels?
— Patricia Wald Asheville
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6 thoughts on “Letter: Now I get the Merrimon Avenue plan”
I see the barrels hit regularly. It’s not a pretty sight. When the barrels are are gone, pity the cyclists.
Ms. Wald – The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recommended the Merrimon changes, provided alternatives – and provided the funding. It was not the city’s funds. You can’t use funds from State Education, Transportation etc to pay for city water issues. It is not only a different department, it it a different entity and funding source.
“And please don’t tell me it’s money from a different department; let’s try to use some common sense.” It’s literally from a completely different agency. NCDOT is a state agency responsible for building, repairing, and operating highways, bridges, and other modes of transportation, including ferries in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Asheville Water Resources is a department within municipal government. I know government can be confusing, but this is pretty easy to understand.
The idea that Merrimon has had it’s capacity “halved” is so bizarre to me and so obviously silly to anyone who’s actually driven there. The previous configuration was a less safe, de facto two lane road because the two center lanes were effectively blocked by drivers turning, making them useless for through traffic. Now there are dedicated through lanes, dedicated turn lanes, and even the addition of lanes for alternate modes of transportation.
The idea that adding more lanes will somehow magically solve traffic has been disproven time and time and time again. More lanes have never solved traffic problems, they only add expense and complexity, while reducing safety and contributing to pollution. The new configuration will be safer, will do the bare minimum to enforce some safety rules that were previously ignored, and will create more equitable solutions for bikers and pedestrians. This is a small step in the right direction, Asheville needs to do much more to continue to make the streets safer for everyone.
Yikes – someone REALLY doesn’t like having to slow down. Gummies or buspirone might help during the adjustment period.
Merrimon is now more safe and hospitable for those of us who walk, run, or ride to and from shops and downtown. I commend the State and City for their work in making it safer for everyone.