Inside several specialty shops along the mile-and-a-half stretch from UNC Asheville to Beaver Lake, hawkers of shoes, homebrew equipment, crystals and haircuts continue to sell their wares and services, building community amid the slower traffic, and their opinions — like their specialties — vary widely.
“The bike lanes are not only ‘not used’ but take up too much width. A narrower scale might’ve made more sense to accommodate everyone.”
“I would give more weight to people who have invested sweat, money and time into enterprises that, should they fail, would mean disaster to them, their families and their employees.”
“The result has been beleaguered customers and woeful year-to-year store sales numbers now that motorists avoid the area if at all possible.”
“Congratulations! To the City of Asheville and all the others involved in deciding and implementing the changes that have turned Merrimon Avenue into a parking lot!”
“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?”
Asheville on Bikes has recently drawn attention for its successful advocacy at City Hall, but it’s just one of many community organizations that seek to pull the levers of political power in Asheville. Xpress spoke to several of these groups to learn more about how they pursue their agendas.
“Take what’s left of the money to stop this endeavor now and use the funds to repaint the lines on Merrimon to their former, workable configuration.”
“My neighborhood noise from Merrimon Avenue is much reduced with the new street design.”
The plan would reduce the section of the avenue between Midland Road and W.T. Weaver Boulevard from its current four-lane, two-way configuration to one lane in each direction, along with a center turn lane and bicycle lanes.