Spend city money on this

I’ve lived here in Asheville for 20 years—most of my life. I am responding to Councilman Newman’s letter [“City Budget Needs Community Input,” June 20].

Creating walkable, bikeable communities: I agree … but encourage even further steps. Personally I don’t own a car, so I rely on my bike (a pedal version) and walking for my main forms of transportation. I encourage additional funding for the creation of bike lanes. This would make for safer and more comfortable situations for everyone on the road—bikes, cars and pedestrians. It would also reduce the pressure on downtown parking. If the locals use alternative forms of transportation into downtown, then more tourists could use the existing parking. I envision our city interconnected with roadways, sidewalks and bike lanes, thus meeting the needs of all our citizens.

Improving public safety: Public safety and the right of people to feel safe and secure in their homes and with their family are important aspects of a free society. Equally important is balancing this desire with our constitutional rights, specifically the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. I know that Dr. Mumpower is very passionate about enforcing current drug laws. [Historically] the war on drugs has been given many times as an excuse to violate our constitutional rights. I strongly caution the Council to avoid this violation.

Public restrooms in downtown: We are the greatest nation on this planet, and there are still people in our communities that have to pee on the street. I mean, it’s embarrassing … . We should be doing much more for these people, but at the very least let’s keep their excrement in a contained and sanitary location, if for no other reason than our own selfish ones.

Environmental sustainability: I think that Asheville should strive to be a true leader in the U.S. environmental movement. What better way to go down in history than as the town that really started it all? This is the new wave of the political tide. Have the courage and vision to be a leader. You know what to do. The answers are out there. It’s not rocket science. Do it.

I love Asheville. I grew up in these beautiful mountains. They are the oldest in the world, thus making them very special. Our town is also special, not only because of these mountains, but for many other reasons as well. I’m not against development; I’m not against progress, change, cars or rich people. I only ask that when decisions are made [that affect] the future of Asheville, [we] think about how special it is and how wonderful it will be to share all this with our children and with their children.

— Dave Braverman

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