There are no sidewalks in the valley of the shadow of death

I walk or drive down Charlotte Street almost everyday for work and I have never had any issues or concerns. The traffic lights do their job and the congestion at the interstate is understandable. I'm just not sure what everyone seems to think is wrong. But I suppose I'll support any initiative to slow cars down and give pedestrians and bicyclists a sense of safety.

Asheville claims to be progressive, but when it comes to accessibility, we tend to prioritize the automobile. Walking down the east side of Broadway between Five Points Restaurant and Dripolator Coffee Bar, you have to be single file, dodge telephone poles, and dip into the street as cars graze your elbows. God forbid you happen to be in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller.

I can forgive a pathetic excuse for a sidewalk. My main complaint is finding a place to cross the damn street. You have to walk from Five Points Restaurant to W.T. Weaver Boulevard in order to cross safely? That is ludicrous, even for a spry young man like me. I am constantly looking death in the eye as I try to reach the new greenway, which is slightly ironic. We need traffic lights at Catawba Street and Hillside Street and a nice roundabout at Ocala Street/Woodrow Avenue with a great big maple tree in the middle.

Merrimon Avenue is no better. There's no light at all between Claxton Elementary and Luella's Bar-B-Que! And whoever painted the zebra crossings urging folks to traipse across four lanes must have been joking. No turn lanes, no buffer … yikes.

I've seen so many stretches of road with no bike lanes (not a huge deal) and no sidewalk (unforgivable). College Street is downright luxurious by Asheville standards. It's very disappointing. I think I remember all our City Council members touting "more sidewalks!" How many people, dogs and babies have to die before we decide that maybe cars could slow down or even stop once in a while?

— Kenny Armstrong
Asheville

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