Vision: For Asheville to be a community of connected pathways that is healthy, safe and accessible for people of all ages.
Mission: To educate the public about bicycle and pedestrian transportation. To advocate for the development and maintenance of safe, convenient and inter-connected facilities and to promote the benefits of walking and biking for individuals and community health.
Goals and Priorities:
The following objectives have been formulated with input from the Task Force volunteers, and also with feedback delivered by the 2011 online survey. These goals will remain our focus through the end of December 2012. Priorities for these core objectives will be flexible to best accommodate the constraints of available resources, funding, and time.
Bicycle Friendly Community status
The Bike/Ped. Task Force (TF) will submit an application for the City of Asheville (AVL) to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). The application will be submitted by the February 2012 deadline, and the goal is to be recognized at a "Bronze" level, at a minimum.
Walk Friendly Community status
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has officially launched Walk Friendly Communities (WFC), a national recognition program to encourage towns and cities across the United States to establish or recommit to a high priority for safe walking. The TF will submit an application for the City of Asheville by the June 2012 deadline, and the goal is to be recognized at a "Bronze" level, at a minimum.
Task Force communication tools – internal & external
Making better use of existing tools (ABPTF website, e-mail, calendar) and new tools (Google Groups, BLOGs, RSS) to improve internal & external communication.
Partnering with local organizations to offer educational programs for bike & pedestrian interests, and to document and promote/publicize these activities. Focus areas could include traffic & safety skills for cyclists, recreational skills for cyclists, bike/ped. programs for local area schools, and motorist education.
Bike route signage, inter-connectivity, and wayfinding
Re-signing old bike routes, additional signs to help connect new & old routes, updating the Bicycle Transportation Map for Asheville & Buncombe County, etc.
Provide Input to the NC DOT 30 year Transportation Plan
The North Carolina DOT is in the process of reinventing themselves and developing a transportation plan for the whole state for 2040. This plan will determine how money is spent on transportation for the next 30 years. Follow this link to complete the plan survey.
Winning Campaigns Training (Asheville, NC) - November 5-7
Are you interested in learning how to conduct a successful campaign to improve biking and walking conditions in your community? Here is some training that you might want to join. This November, the Alliance for Biking and Walking is partnering with an Asheville Coalition to bring our signature Winning Campaigns Training to Asheville, NC. Join your fellow bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders to learn from expert coaches and each other through the Alliance's proven curriculum on choosing, directing, and winning campaigns to increase bicycling and walking. After three days of fun and inspiring work with the country's leading experts in advocacy, you'll come away with the tools and confidence to not only advocate for improvements, but win them! More information.
Vision: A community of connected pathways that is healthy, safe and accessible for people of all ages. Mission: We exist to educate the public about bicycle and pedestrian transportation. Advocate for the development and maintenance of safe, convenient and interconnected facilities and promote the benefits of walking and biking for individuals and community health.
Continue the bicycle education programs for children and adults, as well as continue to educate motorists on appropriate safe behaviors to share the roadway.
Continue our children’s bicycle rodeos.
Continue working with the schools to educate children.
Meet with Tony Baldwin, County School Superintendent to garner his support for this program.
Meet with Asheville City School Superintendent to garner his support for this program.
Continue offering adult Traffic Skills 101 classes and clinics.
Continue offering commuter clinics and discussion groups on commuting skills.
Continue and expand the Driver’s Education classes at local high Schools.
Begin a pedestrian education program.
Address safety issues for all pedestrians.
Look for organizations to partner with in an effort to find volunteers to spearhead this program.
Talk with Marsha Stickford
Asheville Chamber of Commerce
Inform residents of their responsibility to keep sidewalks clean and safe for pedestrian travel.
Work with Kenilworth Residents Association as a pilot program before taking to C.A.N.
Work with Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods in expanding the program.
Educate our citizens about parking and walking options.
Educate drivers about yielding to pedestrians.
Educate developers about the needs of pedestrians and how they can help to improve conditions for them.
See if Hotels and Motels in downtown or near would be interested in promoting walking programs that would encourage guests to walk rather than drive.
Continue advocating for more connected facilities for biking and walking, as well as bike parking facilities.
Promote the present parking facilities we do have.
Continue doing assessments of roadways and walkways around town.
Promote biking and walking events that draw people to be more active.
Talk with Jon Fellman with City of Asheville about programs that would encourage events to attract bus riding, walking and biking to get to their event.
Develop materials that would encourage multi-modal travel to these events.
Talk to businesses to request facilities around their business.
Help the MPO with evaluating projects for biking and walking.
Celebrate our successes by publicizing them.
Advertise our accomplishments through the media.
Write letters to editor and quest editorials.
Advocate for articles in the papers and news media.
Thank planners and other officials who help our efforts.
Track our successes and evaluate them.
Utilize the Bike Education and Advocacy Reporting Form from Healthy Buncombe to do this.
Continue our work to make our streets safe for all users by making our streets more complete and getting Bicycle Friendly status.
Educate decision makers on how important these policies are.
Increase awareness of the need for complete streets not only in Asheville but the whole MPO.
Want to become more involved with transportation issues?
The French Broad River MPO is accepting applications for membership in our Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
The Citizens Advisory Committee is a group of citizens that seek to enhance citizen and public involvement in the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) by providing input on key regional planning activities, as well as assisting in outreach to communities throughout Buncombe, Haywood and Henderson Counties. Membership will last through October 2010. Applicants must reside within the MPO area which includes urbanized areas of Buncombe and Haywood County and all of Henderson County. Feel free to contact us if you are unsure if you reside within the urbanized areas of Buncombe and Haywood County.
The Mission of the CAC is to:
Serve as an advisory body to the MPO TAC during the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
Provide independent, region-oriented citizen advice on issues related to the development of the Long Range Transportation Plan.
Promote public awareness and participation in the Long Range Transportation Planning process.
If you have any questions about the CAC, applicant requirements or the MPO feel free to contact us at:
2009 Accomplishments made by the Bike / Ped Task Force in coordination with Asheville City Staff, Asheville Greenworks, Asheville on Bikes, the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, Healthy Buncombe, and the Strive Not to Drive Committee:
There were 7 bike corrals held this year:
After 5 Concert for SNTD event
After 5 Concert
After 5 Concert
After 5 Concert
After 5 Concert
Total bikes parked
Two classes for adults were held at the YWCA:
04-04 saw 4 students
08-22 saw 8 students
Of the 12 total adult students, one was Stephanie Melletti who has invited us to do a program at Owen Middle School
There were 6 Children's Rodeos:
Earth Day celebration in Biltmore
YMCA Healthy kids day
Evergreen Charter school Earth day event
Black Mountain Rodeo
Vance Elementary School in West Asheville
Erwin Middle School
Total kids participating
We’ve made contact with UNC-A and are discussing a multi-faceted education program with them.
A bike lane was added on North Lexington Avenue.
Sharrows were added on South French Broad.
A bike lane was added to Kimberly Avenue.
An op-ed letter was written for the AC-Times supporting safe driving and bicycle behaviors.
Letters to editor were written to support the traffic calming on Kimberly.
We made a report to city council on our progress and we have made contacts with several groups which will help with future programming.
Spoke to the Planning and Zoning Commission about the state of pedestrian facilities and the need to retain funding for sidewalks.
Distributed posters developed by the NC Bicycle Program.
We performed a bike and pedestrian count for four days in September as part of the National Bicycle Pedestrian documentation project. There were 51 stations where individuals counted the numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians, showing that more than 900 bicyclists and more than 5,700 pedestrians were counted during the 4 days. Counts were conducted from each station during a two hour time period, 1 weekday and 6 stations were counted again during a Saturday.
Developed a survey for Biking and Walking Harassment and suggestions for improvements.
Three individuals attended the 3 day Alliance for Walking and Biking workshop on How to Conduct a Successful Advocacy Campaign in Richmond, Virginia.
NC DOT has adopted a Complete Streets Policy
There is now an official policy that says NC DOT will consider all street users when retro fitting any old street or putting in a new street. Here are the details.
Stimulus money is coming to Asheville in the way of bike and pedestrian facilities. Hopefully, you will begin to see changes in our city for bicycle and pedestrian needs by the end of August 2009. Barb Mee the city transportation planner, who is responsible for bike and pedestrian facilities along with other transportation has a keen eye for ways she can sneak our needs into other projects. She noticed that the city was getting ready to resurface North Lexington after replacing the water lines and asked if they couldn't put in the climbing lane at the same time since it was on the city's bike plan. This is a good example of having your eye on the pulse and saves a lot of money, too. This climbing lane will eventually connect to the Reed Creek Greenway which is following Broadway and will help to make a north/south connection for bicycles.
When using the climbing lane be careful to ride in the left hand portion of the lane so you will clear the "door zone" of the cars parked next to the curb. There is no lane when the bicyclists are traveling north (downhill) because a bicyclists can keep up with the traffic speed. This was a suggestion in much of the Asheville bike plan for many of our roads that are too narrow for bike lanes on both sides of the road. The bicyclist is most vulnerable when traveling up hill due to the speed discrepancy.
Other plans will include a bike lane on Coxe Avenue and a pedestrian crossing at Fairview Elementary School. There are a number of sidewalk gaps that are also included.
Accomplishments made in 2008 toward Bicycle Friendly Initiative in Asheville
City Council passed the Comprehensive Bicycle Plan.
Black Mountain received notification they received a $250,000.00 "Safe Routes to Schools" grant to improve sidewalks to the Elementary and Primary Schools.
The city of Asheville Council agreed to take responsibility for sidewalks to Emma Elementary School and apply for a "Safe Routes to Schools" grant.
Asheville received notification they received a $250,000.00 SRTS grant to help with construction of the Emma Elementary School sidewalks.
A sidewalk and high visibility crosswalks were installed at Vance Elementary School on Sulpher Springs Road in West Asheville.
Held a successful "Strive Not to Drive" event which included a mayor’s bike ride which included many public officials both city and county, UNC-Asheville participated in and committed to work to make our community more friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians.
Taught a League of American Bicyclists "Road One" class and had 9 people successfully pass and two more private classes.
Had one person become a League Certified Instructor and one person reinstated to teach safety courses. This gives us 4 LCI’s locally.
Had five people trained to be instructors in a pilot program of LAB & NBDA called "Safe Cycling".
Finished a pilot Driver’s Education program at Erwin Middle School to teach new drivers about driving around bicyclists and pedestrians. We held five classes and trained 150 students.
Trained five individuals to expand the Driver’s Education program to more schools.
Held our first "Healthy Buncombe Kids Safety" class at Erwin Middle School with their students in the Bike Club.
The city installed shared use arrows "Sharrows" on South French Broad Avenue.
Healthy Buncombe Coalition completed a successful "Downtown on the Move" program, installing routes signs for three downtown walking routes, a map of the routes which include restaurants and businesses when downtown workers can walk to complete their errands or have lunch.
The Bike/Ped Task Force received a liaison from the Asheville Police Department and began working together. Set up a program of ticketing bicyclists who are not obeying traffic laws by running stop signs, red lights, riding at night without lights, riding against the traffic flow, and passing cars on the right at stop lights.
The city installed traffic calming devises on Kenilworth Road and Kimberly Avenue.
The Bike/Ped Task Force completed our update of the Bicycle Transportation Map, had it printed and began distribution of it.
Healthy Buncombe received notification we received another "Eat Smart Move More" grant for our children’s Bike Safety program. We plan to hold four bicycle skills clinics in the spring of 2009 two of which will be in West Asheville along with a mapping program to encourage families to walk and bike more.
New Bike transportation map for Asheville and Buncombe County is now available
After 10 years, the bike transportation map for Asheville and Buncombe County has been updated and is now available at all area bicycle stores, the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, and from Barb Mee, City of Asheville Transportation Planner, 828-232-4540. All neighborhood bike routes are on the map and more roads have been rated. We request a $5.00 donation to help pay for continued printing and updating of the map.
Two motorist-bicyclist safety videos are available on the web
You know how, as a child, you were taught never to bicycle in traffic and to stay out of the way of cars? Well, a new video on the rights and duties of bicyclists has just been posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU4nKKq02BU. Among other things, it shows bicyclists how to ride in traffic, including controlling the lane and using left turn lanes to turn left.
The League of Illinois Bicyclists, with funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation, has produced a nearly seven-minute video on motorist-bicyclist safety. This file is available to view in 2 sizes to facilitate viewing using by both broadband and slower connections.
Strive Not to Drive
Tired of paying four dollars a gallon for gas, but don't want to buy an expensive hybrid? Try getting out of your car and biking, walking, carpooling, or busing to work for a week! Strive Not to Drive wants Asheville to change the way we move.
City Council tentatively plans on reviewing the draft plan during their Feb. 26th Council Meeting. You can plan to attend this council meeting and make your comments during the public comment period and/or send an e-mail to your city council member letting them know what you think about the plan.
Asheville is updating its master plan for parks and recreation, which includes updating the Greenways Master Plan. A series of public meetings will be held over the next two weeks to gather input for Asheville’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. This is a critical opportunity to provide input on what you want to see in terms of parks, greenways, public art and recreation facilities and services throughout Asheville. Please try and attend one of the public meetings and provide your input. Also, please help spread the word to others who will advocate for greenways and parks and recreation needs.
The public meetings are on January 10, 14 and 17 at a few different locations. Please see the press release for times and location details.
Safe Routes to Schools-Emma Elementary School
Tuesday, November 27th, the city council voted in favor of being the lead agency with NC DOT to do the maintenance on new sidewalks along North Louisiana Road for Emma Elementary School. The school is in Buncombe County just outside of the city limits up behind the K-mart on Patton Avenue. The group "A Safer Walk for Emma" has been working for the past two years to get sidewalks so children who live across the street in the two mobile home parks could safely walk to school. This brings this group one step closer to their goal. They will be applying for a Safe Routes to Schools demonstration grant this December. The DOT will only work with municipalities who have the capability of maintaining sidewalks. This municipal agreement has to be determined before the sidewalk can be considered. Emma was one of 4 local schools who participated in an all day workshop last March. These workshops included members of the community, school officials, parents, city and state DOT engineers and planners. Besides learning about the requirements which make a successful walk to school program which includes a safety education program, encouragement program, enforcement, engineering improvements and evaluation of how well the program worked, these individuals walked the grounds around the school to evaluate what is already there and what was needed to make the program successful. Safe Routes to Schools is a Federal program which encourages children to walk or bike to school when it is safe to do so and if it is not safe works to make it safe. These programs are happening in an effort to improve the health of children who are not getting enough physical exercise, reduce pollution and congestion around schools and reduce costs. The positive side affects are that children gain confidence, learn quicker, know their community, are better students and develop skills which improve their driving skills as they become adults. There were 30 schools who participated in workshops this year that are now eligible to compete for the Federal SRTS funding. Other funding programs will be available for other schools in 2008.
As cyclists who are interested in seeing Asheville become a bicycle friendly community and after working on this goal for over 25 year we are starting to make strides. The city of Asheville has applied for a NC DOT grant to develop a comprehensive bicycle plan. It is almost finished and hopefully some time next month it will be presented to city council to become enacted. However, that is just the beginning. Then the council needs to find funding and put the plan into action. It is imperative that we have bicycling advocates on our city council to ensure that this plan gets accepted and enacted. There are two men running for council in November who understand our needs and are willing to work on these issues. If you would like to hear what Brownie Newman and Bryan Freeborn feel, let them know how you feel and learn more about the Asheville Bicycle Plan come to Asheville Brewing on Coxe Avenue on Saturday November 3rd between 4 and 6 PM. Also pass the word to your friends. We are calling this meeting the Bike Ballot.
Thank-you David Foster
Another nice, big, thank-you is due to David Foster, the Asheville Street Superintendent. David attended the Safe Routes to Schools workshop at Vance Elementary School last March. When we walked the neighborhood around the school comments were made about the fact that the sidewalk connecting the school to the crosswalk on Sandhill stopped just past the school driveway causing the kids to cross the road with no crosswalk or crossing guard on Harnett Road. The crosswalks around the school were almost invisable and there were no curb cuts. David made all those improvements to the school neighborhood with available city funds. Now the kids walking to Vance School have much safer accomidations. Thank you David for taking care of things.
Thank-you NC DOT and McCray Coates
A nice, big, thank-you is due to both the NC DOT and engineer McCray Coates for fixing the drain grates on Merrimon Avenue. All the drains which were below grade have been raised and those which were parallel with the road have been turned.
Pedestrian Information Needed
The city sidewalk crews have been busy this summer repairing old damaged sidewalks, curbs and adding new curb cuts. Now that a lot of improvements have been made in the immediate downtown area they are branching out to the near- downtown areas. Many improvements have been occurring on Merrimon Avenue and South French Broad Avenue, a new sidewalk has been placed on Fairview Road from Sweeten Creek Road to Westview along with a new waterline, a crew is now repairing sections of sidewalk on Hilliard and they just finished Sherwood Road and are working on Forest Hill Drive in the Kenilworth area.
Please let us know when you are seeing improvements to sidewalks being done in your neighborhood.
The draft network and action maps presented at the July public meeting, a memorandum detailing existing conditions, and results of the over 800 bicycle questionnaires you and your neighbors completed are now available on line at http://www.fbrmpo.org/Bicycle_and_Pedestrian.html, and in the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) office on the first floor of Asheville’s City Hall. The MPO is seeking comments on the proposed plan. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, mail them to the address below, or deliver them to Room 100-C, Asheville City Hall, 70 Court Plaza, 20081. If you have problems with the electronic data, or if you have accessibility needs, please contact Barb Mee.
Additionally, the MPO is accepting comment on NCDOT’s proposed Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) for Buncombe, Haywood and Henderson Counties until September 17, 2007. This is a multi-modal plan: it covers bicycle facilities and public transportation as well as highways. The pedestrian portion of the plan will come later. The plan maps and a table of recommendations is also available on the MPO website at http://www.fbrmpo.org/Comp._Transp.html as well as the MPO office. Comments can be made via email to email@example.com, by mail to the post office box address below, or can be delivered to the MPO office, Room 100-C, Asheville City Hall. As on the other plan, if you have problems accessing the drafts, please let us know.
Feel free to stop by the MPO office to take a look at the web site. You may also contact Barb Mee for any questions:
Barb Mee, Transportation Planner
French Broad River MPO
P.O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802
Proposed Bike Plan for Asheville
Last night there were approximately 66 people attending the Public Works Building to hear about the proposed bike plan for Asheville. The information is exciting. Some things will be able to happen quickly without a lot of cost just paint and educating the public about what is happening.
These things might include:
Climbing lanes on some roads going up hill and a shared road marking on the down hill side.
Shared road marking shows the cyclists where to ride on the road with the traffic and gives the motorist the impression that cyclists will be on the road. It is made up of two chevrons with a bicycle on the roadway.
Lane diets which is a narrowing of the existing road lane and a painted shoulder on the road. This is narrower than a bike lane so it has no bike lane symbol but gives the cyclist room on the road to be.
Actual bike lanes are items that will take some time in places where new pavement is needed but could come sooner on roads where a road diet is made.
A road diet is the narrowing of lanes and reduction of lanes to make room for a bike lane on each side. This will take a little longer due to the need to get approval from DOT to do and have public comment.
The bike plan proposes about 100 miles of these type of improvements for cyclists, as well as parking improvements, better maintenance.