WATER PARK  WNC's tourism industry has focused on developing attractions that highlight the region's natural features, says Stephanie Brown of the CVB. Photo courtesy of Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Balancing local tourism’s costs and benefits

With an annual economic impact of $2.6 billion, tourism is a critical industry in Western North Carolina. But politicians and local residents are increasingly asking whether the tourism industry is paying a fair share of the cost of providing everything from sidewalks to roads to public safety to tourists. Now, City Councilman Gordon Smith is pushing for a new study to consider the local tourism industry’s impact and sustainability.

In 2010, hundreds of people marched down Tunnel Road advocating for the construction of a sidewalk between the Veterans Restoration Quarters and the VA Medical Center. That sidewalk has since come to fruition, but a report shows that Asheville is falling short of its goals.

Asheville tries to keep pace with rising demands for sidewalks, bike lanes

From the Get It! Guide: Asheville is faced with a rising interest in transportation alternatives, but the path to greater advances seems to be lined with historic neglect and budgetary hurdles. The city still has a long walk ahead to fulfill its 2004 goal of building 108 miles of sidewalks. In the last decade, Asheville has constructed only about 18 miles worth.

In 2010, hundreds of people marched down Tunnel Road advocating for the construction of a sidewalk between the Veterans Restoration Quarters and the VA Medical Center. That sidewalk has since come to fruition but a new report shows that Asheville is falling short of its goals. Photo by Jake Frankel.

Long walk ahead: Asheville falls short of sidewalk constructi­on goals

Asheville has constructed about 18 miles of new sidewalks since 2006, but that’s a far cry from what advocates say is needed to improve pedestrian safety in the city’s neighborhoods. A new report released by city government shows that it’s fallen well short of its goal of building 108 miles of sidewalk. A 5-year $132 […]

Asheville Council ponders sidewalks, Sunday bus service and stormwater

Asheville leaders could vote later this month to spend millions of dollars on sidewalks and greenways as part of a capital improvement program for the coming year. The budget also funds Sunday bus service in the city, starting Jan. 1. Yet some residents, and City Council member Chris Pelly, voiced concern during the June 10 budget hearing that such the sidewalk investment […]

Volunteers needed to help determine usage of local sidewalks, bike lanes-attachment0

Volunteers needed to help determine usage of local sidewalks, bike lanes

One of the biggest hurdles facing local advocates of building more multi-modal transportation infrastructure such is as sidewalks and bike lanes is a shortage of data. In order to help determine the need for improvements, the city of Asheville is seeking volunteers to help take a count of those currently using the local sidewalks, bike lanes and greenways.

(Not so) broad way

After several years of living in the "Five Points" neighborhood and walking downtown as much as possible, I am still amazed that the sidewalk going from hereto Lexington Avenue is still in the same condition it has always been in. Unfortunately, this Thanksgiving, a man was killed in the heart of this treacherous stretch of […]