For a walkable Charlotte Street

Jerry Sternberg’s column “Charlotte’s Web” [Oct. 16 Xpress] is a shortsighted condemnation of those supporting efforts to improve conditions on Charlotte Street. Rather than “a continuing strategy … to keep the Great Unwashed from invading their neighborhood,” those I know in support of the plan (including myself) wish to make the neighborhood more inviting. The vision goes beyond “three-laning” and addresses the concerns he mentions of improved sidewalks. We're all on the same page here, and he should be aware of this.

I am not sure when he walked Charlotte Street last, but I do on a regular basis and I have to disagree with him. I find it scary and dangerous. People I encounter on my walks feel the same way. Many of the neighborhoods adjoining this portion of Charlotte Street are not inhabited by “elitists,” but regular folks hoping to develop a sense of community along the Charlotte Street corridor and enhance its walkable and bicycle-friendly connection to downtown. Charlotte Street is a somewhat unique mix of commercial and residential properties. Why not support ideas that make it a pleasant, walkable and inviting neighborhood that the entire city can share?

— Rose Bartlett


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5 thoughts on “For a walkable Charlotte Street

  1. Lisa Watters

    As a ‘regular folk’ that has walked down Charlotte Street on many occasions to get to work I find the description of it as ‘scary and dangerous’ for pedestrians confounding. Sure, the sidewalks could use some work and bike lanes would be great but I have never found the walk anything but pleasant and convenient.

  2. sharpleycladd

    As long as we three-lane Merrimon – which is truly dangerous – first, I’m fine with three-laning Charlotte. If three-laning Merrimon doesn’t sound like a good idea, then the public-safety argument for three-laning Charlotte is out the window, ne c’est pas?

  3. North Asheville

    I’m another frequent walker on Charlotte St. Nothing scary or dangerous about it. Many sidewalks, some wide, have been created in North Asheville, and still no walkers to speak of. Density and frequency of walkers should be considered before sidewalks are installed or widened, just as density and frequency of traffic determines road improvements. Where are the statistics? (And it’s not a chicken-egg situation; walkers will walk, whether there is a sidewalk or not; sidewalks don’t create walkers, any more than highways create drivers.)

  4. boatrocker

    I’m confused too. Though I don’t live off of Charlotte St. anymore, I still don’t see any masses of unkempt zombie hordes.

    For the record, I lived off Charlotte St. back in the late 1990’s- remember the “Big Flush”? (no running water for 3+ days)? Talk about the Great Unwashed.

    Put me down for yes, make it easier to navigate Charlotte St. without a car.

  5. jmattrhodes

    Saying “well, we have a sidewalk on Charlotte St. and a safe place to walk, but we want it to be nicer” is the epitome of elitism. Especially with the numerous streets in great neighborhoods throughout the city that have no sidewalks and dilapidated streets, a majority of which are in West Asheville. The city should walk away from any development (“planning” and “studies” cost money too) on Charlotte St like they did to Vermont Ave in the 80s when it was it’s “turn” to paved in the “cycle.” Almost thirty years later Vermont Ave still has sections of exposed 100 year old concrete and no sidewalk on the end of the street with a City park and Little League field.

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