Public support for improving our access to safe, active transportation options continues to grow in Asheville. Last week’s “Long Walk Ahead,” [Aug. 27, Xpress] by Jake Frankel pinpointed specific sidewalk investments by the city of Asheville. While funding challenges remain, I believe our city is responding to the message that multimodal transportation is an important issue.
Due to steady and certain public support for active transportation improvement, our city government has responded. Good job, Asheville, but a long walk ahead remains, and it takes many willing partners to advance transportation improvements.
Currently, the N.C. Department of Transportation does not count bike and pedestrian use in its project analysis despite its “Complete Street” policy. If NCDOT is not accounting for bicycles and pedestrians, it cannot successfully design for them. The city has learned to respond, and so must NCDOT. It takes partnerships to advance our transportation options.
I encourage individuals, businesses and organizations to participate in this year’s annual bike and pedestrian counts. Asheville on Bikes, the N.C. Center for Health and Wellness, Healthy Buncombe and the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club are partnering to host this year’s annual bike and pedestrian counts from Sept. 16-20. A robust public database of bicycle and pedestrian use is essential to further drive active transportation investments.
Visit Asheville on Bikes’ website at ashevilleonbikes.com for more details on how to register for the counts. Your volunteer investment makes a huge impact on our transportation future. Let’s work together to advance transportation.