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Comments on
Improving Merrimon

Merrimon Avenue should not be used by bicycles.

So many things could be asked and said about this but let’s start here: do you know that Merrimon Ave is one of the BUSIEST roads in Buncombe. I’d call it in the top 4 with Patton, Tunnel, and Hendersonville. Did you also think about how Merrimon is the road of left turns? I know the idea of a turn lane makes you go that will solve everything but it will do quite the opposite. The amount of people who will take up the turn lane to merge since just a left turn out of somewhere is no longer feasible will be 90%. Then what happens when the turn lanes are blocked up by people trying to get back on the rd? Everyone trying to turn left off the rd into a business or a rd not at a red light will just be sitting and waiting with no lane for the rest of us to go around them and continue the flow of traffic. Not to mention the nightmare this will have on businesses. Listen I’m all for cyclist having lanes and sharing the rd I truly am, however you have got to stop and realize that Asheville’s infrastructure was NEVER originally built for 1. The un godly amount of population and visitors we have now. 2. With Bicyclist in mind. And we do not have the real ability to fix any of this sadly without completely wrecking traffic for motorist. I also have to wonder as someone who lives in Shiloh, drives all ends of the earth on a daily, and as someone whose taken the ART many times before a few things: out of all things, all the things we desperately need DOT wise why on earth is this out of the ass not so great idea the thing that immediately comes to mind?! Shiloh: a HEAVILY walked neighborhood needs sidewalks all over it instead of just randomly here and there for a very short distance. Which brings me to also say in general buncombe desperately needs more sidewalks. We have so many areas with no sidewalks, or side walks that go maybe for a 1/10 of a mile only on one side and randomly stop short for no reason. Secondly So many of neighborhood roads all over AVL need repaving! And most importantly along with sidewalks: we need better bus stops! Why is it for instance: the bus stop on tunnel rd at the intersection where one would turn up to Ross/TJMaxx on that side just a sign stuck in the ground, ON A GRASS HILL?! How on earth is anyone in a wheelchair or anyone who has mobility issues at all supposed to stop their if they need to and safely get up to those shops?! Also I think all bus stops should have covers with a bench. We shouldn’t let folks using public transportation have to wait in the rain or without access to sit down if they need just because they use public transportation. How are we ever in this country going to even consider Lessening the carbon footprint if we don’t invest better in public transportation! Listen I get what you were trying to do with this road proposal but it not only is a just a really bad design/idea and would make traffic worse and hurt local businesses but it also to me has no business being your priority in terms of infrastructure when we have so many LEGIT PROBLEMS. Cyclist can continue on Merrimon in the left lanes getting over when needing to turn left like the rest of us or take the largely trafficless parallel neighborhood streets They’ve done it for how many decades? Yeah they’ll be fine. We really though need to better think of those who use ART and those who walk a lot. The city In general would be a much better place if we focused on these issues first and foremost. I’m asking y’all to listen to your actual community members who vote, who voted you in, who live here, pay taxes here, and are out and about in this city living their lives here what we think would best before you just decide to do asinine things like this without even thinking. Thanks!

Have travelled Merrimon Ave. for over 40 years.  Have not had real problems.  To keep moving, stay in the right lane.  Use left if you need to make a turn.  Reducing this crowded, heavily used road by half is beyond riduculous.  At least it now is able to convey traffic up and down Merrimon.  The proposed changes make NO sense whatever.

We are residents who live off of Beaverdam Rd.  Little no understanding of road engineering my belief is that Merrimon Business Owners should be the ones that are key on the final decision.  Bicycle lanes are a good philosophical idea but my feeling is that Merrimon is for the most part, a shopping and service oriented neighborhood there would not be a destination for riders.

I believe that amount of building will lead to major traffic congestion on Merrimon Blvd. I have lived in Asheville for 20 years and it is very congested downtown in my opinion. LIMIT THE EXPANSION in my  opinion.   

Even from the 60s and 70s Merrimon was never friendly too bike riding. You always used the sidewalk, never the street. It's still the case today. You never see a leisure biker on Merrimon. A group may leave from the running store, but no riding on this busy throughway. You never ever see a bike with a rack or saddlebag for shopping. Merrimon changes widths 2 times. You'd need all the room plus tires on the proposed turn lane to pass a bike safely. Plus the fact that 4 travel lanes cut to 2 will double traffic. That's some "diet" Asheville. Pass the calories.

How many bicyclists will use Merrimon Avenue during the winter months, during rain, during hot summer days, during the night… But 21500 Cars Daily drive that road morning and night, rain or shine, 365 days a year 12 months a year.

I've lived in Asheville for 22 years and I believe that this move will be destructive in many ways.  I'm against it. I believe that business owners should have a say. The reason people go down Merrimon is for the businesses.

I am very concerned that this plan is not the answer. Merrimon is entirely different than Charlotte Street. Merrimon will be extremely dangerous for bikes which will impact an already congested street with multiple cars making right and left turns up and down Merrimon. Merrimon already gets backed up and people are constantly making dangerous and sometimes illegal turns in opposite direction Drivers who are concentrating on a busy road will miss seeing bikers causing many more serious accidents. A perfect example of this is that over a year ago I was pulling into Greenlife off Merrimon and a biker on the sidewalk came out of nowhere and ended up in front of my car. Fortunately he wasn't hurt but his bike needed to be repaired. There was no way to see him until he was right in front of me. Creating bike lanes on Merrimon will be incredibly dangerous as is reducing the lanes in the manner you have described.

There is a reason Merrimon was made 4 lane instead f the 3it was previously. Commuters already treat the left lane as a possible turn lane and avoid it.


Make a separate bicycle lane if that is your goal instead of painting bicycles on the car lane, I'm very concerned that this proposal may make the traffic on Merrimon even worse than it already is. There should be extensive input and research before beginning such a drastic change. I'm in favor of protecting bikers, but this seems to be a step backwards.

I am a resident off Merrimon near Beaver Lake and use Merrimon both north and south of the country club as my primary access road.  I am in favor of the 4 to 3 conversion.  I believe it will improve traffic and circulation while also lowering speeds and improving safety.  Speeding and erratic driving are the biggest problems in Merrimon, primarily by people who do not live or do business here and only use Merrimon as a highway to the north.  A dedicated center turning lane is also greatly needed to make going to local businesses more friendly and approachable. Left turns in the current set up are scary and difficult and block traffic.  I am confident the 4 to 3 conversion will improve life and business in our neighborhood.

My work as a contractor takes me through that area frequently. Already the traffic is busy and hazardous enough that I avoid Merrimon. This includes no longer going to ACE hardware, Sherwin Williams, getting breakfast, lunch, or ice cream anywhere on Merrimon. I go around.



If Merrimon goes to 3 lanes, it will ensure I never go though there again. The business owners here I believe need and deserve to know this.

This will have major repercussions fir decades, and should be well researched.

Reducing lanes to accommodate foot and bicycle traffic is not conducive for a main thorough fare in Asheville. Reducing auto lanes for any of the east (Tunnel Rd), south (Hendersonville Rd) west (Patton Ave) and north (Merrimon Ave) would have serious negative impacts for commuters and travelers.



Expanding/adding lanes, such as turn lanes, and reducing sidewalks would do more to address the traffic issues of our city.

4 to 3 lane is ill-advised. Merrimon traffic volume is much greater than Charlotte St. Asheville police have made little or no effort to enforce speed-limit for many years drivers disregard any concern and race at high speeds with no consequence. Merrimon needs 30 MPH in several areas with multiple pedestrian crossings and enforcement.

This road diet is the wrong answer for Merrimon!  Why not work to improve what we already have?  Let's lower the speed limit (and STRICTLY enforce it) and let's add left turn signals at each signal.  These 2 measures alone could have a huge impact on the Merrimon corridor.  Additionally, what if we went to a model like on Patton Avenue...where one can only make a left turn at a turn signal? 

 


This plan, as proposed, will be more dangerous for cyclists.  Unfortunately the Merrimon corridor has far more businesses than the Charlotte St Corridor so using that as an example doesn't really work.  Additionally, if we did add a bike lane to Merrimon...are we committed to building bike lanes in all adjacent neighborhoods to ensure safe travel TO the new bike lanes on Merrimon?  How will the cyclists be traveling to this bike path?  It just doesn't make any sense.  Additionally, the volume of traffic on Merrimon is much higher than Charlotte St. ever was.  Like it or not it is a main artery into and out of our city.  To say traffic has DECREASED on Merrimon, as Asheville on Bikes is trying to put out there...is just insulting.  I've been using Merrimon as a pedestrian, bus rider and car driver since 1977.  In no way is there less traffic on Merrimon and to suggest so is silly!  Additionally, what will be the impact of traffic on Merrimon once the multiple housing communities are finished that are either being built or are proposed?  I agree Merrimon needs improvement!  But we can do WAY better than this diet plan!  Let's slow down!  Make left turns!  Then let's see where we are.  We can make our road and community better, that is for sure, but this plan is not the way.  Please consider some other changes first! THank you!

A proposed attempt at "human engineering" and a recipe for disaster when it comes to:
       1. Immobilized 1-lane traffic, especially during rush hours
and when in line behind a slow, rambling ART bus with frequent
stops, including non-movement at "green" traffic lights due to
passenger loading and unloading.
       2. Adverse impact upon the Grove Park residential neighborhood on and near Kimberly Avenue which street will become the "alternate" parallel route for those seeking to avoid the one=lane Merrimon Avenue "bumper -to-bumper" traffic crawl.
      3. There are already "bicycle lanes" available in either direction along Kimberly Avenue for those cyclists seeking to travel between Beaverdam Road and Charlotte Street (which also provides bicycle lanes from Chestnut Street to Edwin Place and Kimberly Avenue.
      4. What is the  "Plan B"  backup when, after spending all those $$$ extra public funds beyond the costs of re-paving and lane restriping (check with MSD ref. the estimated cost for the necessary infrastructure-related work this project will require), and the "road diet" turns out to be a "cluster-you-know-what?"
What then???!!!

THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA CONCEIVED BY SOME MISGUIDED CITY TRAFFIC ENGINEERS AND BUREAUCRATS WHO OBVIOUSLY HAD LITTLE OR NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH THEIR TIME WHILE STILL DRAWING THEIR SALARIES BUT HOME-BOUND OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS DUE TO THE PANDEMIC.

Traffic congestion on Merrimon is already problematic.  Can’t imagine a lane drop could be helpful.  Please listen to community input before making and implementing a decision with lasting impacts that can’t be rectified or undone.

Asheville's citizens must be allowed to voice their concerns when it comes to any project in our city.

My opinion is Merrimon is way too busy to have this improve efficiency and safety. Head on collisions in the turning lane, backlogs behind stopped delivery trucks, busses, unavailability of the turning lane if that’s the only place delivery trucks can unload; not to mention that Merrimon is on NO way suited for bicyclists- just asking for terrible crashes every 20-30 feet. Not the solution needed.

 


First, try adjusting the lights and give a green arrow in the left turn lane to prevent some of the backlog and zigzagging of drivers. Seems a logical first step and much more economical. Bicyclists will just have to use Broadway or Kimberly - much safer for them.

Your role shouldn’t be to make all the decisions but to enact what is best for the community. You need to listen to residents commuters and business owners. No preemptory changes to community!

As a resident with a home close to  Merrimon, I strongly oppose the proposed reconfiguration.

Wait, what was just decided about Merrimon Ave and its "diet" plan, a major undertaking with essentially NO input from the community nor from business owners on Merrimon Ave??? wait, what has council done yet again, pushed something through without enough forethought or community input to make for meaningful dialog and decision making? How much are council members and the mayor getting paid (off) for this? I swear, just when you think council couldn't get any worse, well, there they are...

Opposed

I ask that you slow down this process and take into account each stakeholders opinion.

I oppose making fewer lanes for vehicles. How many times are there back ups on I26 that cause’s traffic to use merriment?
Please think this through before work begins!

Do not narrow Merrimon to 3 lanes. It is a major thoroughfare  and would tie up traffic and hurt businesses.

I am against the plan. For much of the day traffic flows well on Merrimon. Losing two lanes to provide easier left turns for the few hours a day that traffic slows is ridiculous. Setting up times leading greens as was done at Beaverdam Road is simpler, less expensive and will address the traffic flow problem. And Broadway is much better suited to bike lanes.

Having lived in North Asheville for 5 years before moving to Weaverville 11 yrs ago - I used and continue to use Merrimon on a regular basis.  It is my best option to avoid the crazy I-26/240 messes.  Putting a turn lane is wonderful, bikes lanes are great BUT NOT ON THIS ROAD.  The traffic, the right turns all the entrances from roads and businesses on to Merrimon and then no way around any obstructions.....worst idea ever.
Who does the assessments on these traffic concepts?

The proposed plan will not handle the growing traffic load smoothly. I recommend no  bike traffic lanes except at certain blocks. Signs for biker convenience.

I love the road diet on Charlotte St. and I'd love to see it enacted on Merrimon also.

I support the road diet. I live out Beaverdam and work at UNCA. I drive this stretch of Merrimon several times every day. I'm also a cyclist. I recognize that the change will lengthen my daily driving. But more important to me, it will make all of us who use the road--drivers, cyclists, pedestrians--safer.

This rampant over devolving has ruined our city! Don’t get me started on how you destroyed our once great hospital

This is a crazy idea. The vehicle volume is too large and restricting that volume will lead to slowdowns, snarling traffic, and road rage !

Go for it! Change is always obstructed so that’s nothing new. Make the changes!

Already bottleneck traffic on Merrimon, especially during peak hours, and losing a lane would compress/slow traffic even more.  Add the often risky "mergers" with cars exiting small retail parking areas and there are no options for drivers to change lanes to accommodate exiting car.  ALL 4 existing lanes are needed.

I am in favor of reducing number of lanes on Merrimon. I travel Charlotte St. And find it much easier with the lane. Restrictions.
Also it would seem much safer for left hand turns than present. And this will not affect right hand turns into businesses. What is another 5 minutes to navigate the length of Merrimon worth - saving lives?

Decreasing the number of lanes on an already congested thoroughfare seems like a ridiculous suggestion.

We should not be reducing lanes on the most traveled residential rode from the north toward downtown and further reduce traffic access.  This is a poorly presented bad proposal.

I was a Merrimon Business Owner for many years and I am not in favor of the proposal with a bike lane.  Kimberly and Broadway have bike lanes currently.  I am in favor of a turning arrow at Edgewood and Merrimon traveling north (same as exists by Trader Joes)

I am strongly opposed to narrowing merrimon. This idea does not seem to be founded or necessary.

*The DOT previously approved a 5 lane expansion with dedicated turning lanes ( that needs to be added); time the lights east or west in am/ pm to support heaviest traffic flows ( there is a reason UPS Drivers rarely make left turns ( very high cause of accidents when there is no turning lane)
* improve the sidewalks where there are gaps for pedestrians
* direct bicycles to Charlotte street ( they just added bike lanes and eliminated one driving lane). This street runs parallel to Merrimon and has far less businesses
* enforce speed limits on Merrimon Ave
* N. AVL is one of the fastest growing areas of the city, with several new residential developments approved. Did the 29K cars referenced per day also consider forecasted growth 5 & 10 years down the road ?
* if bike lanes are added on each side of the road, it will become more dangerous for bikers as people in cars turn into businesses, intersecting those lanes

I believe further studies need to be conducted. Bike lanes will add real danger to all with so many commercial driveways. However I am fo any plan that will slow down traffic on the Merrimon Speedway!

No one ever rides bikes on Merrimon. This should not be a build it and they will come project.

 


The coming Greenway to Woodfin will serve this purpose

This is a poorly thought out idea. I would never ride my bike on Merrimon road diet or no. And the unintended consequence will be to force more traffic onto Kimberly - where I do like to ride. We need a main road for those of us living in North Asheville to connect to the city - Merrimon is not a walkable street. And the buildings and businesses are not designed for pedestrian traffic. This is a really dumb idea!!!

Thousands more cars are going to take shortcuts onto residential streets like Edwin, Kimberly, Hillside, Murdock, Farrwood, Edgewood and MANY  others. This is NOT A solution and my wife and I DO NOT want a road diet on Merrimon!

Merriment Avenue is a very busy road and the “diet” makes me leery. Why would you consider 3 lanes when the 4 lanes are so needed?

I feel that this plan to go to 3 lanes on Merrimon will deter business development. I also feel it will make it very dangerous for big trucks to park on Merrimon and deliver. This happens to a lot of restaurants on Merrimon. I think this will make it much worse than now.

The road diet on Charlotte St is a great improvement but Merrimon Ave is loaded with many more businesses on either side. We need more time to get all concerns addressed.

Strongly opposed to this! I've completed the petition to make my thoughts known. AOB is trying to bulldoze this through and we need to have a voice to stop this.

The road diet ISN'T working on Charlotte Street, with traffic being backed up to Edwin place several times throughout the day.

10 years ago a came here from Central Fl.  because of the charm and beauty of the mountains in this area.  Please, please don't ruin this area by chasing  the almighty dollar.  People that  have lived in Central Fl for years, are leaving in droves.  The area has become a concrete jungle full of traffic jams and too many tourists and people to enjoy. I fear the same thing will destroy this beautiful land. Stop building so many apartments, Condos and hotels.  Please pace a limit on building. Take a good look at South Asheville now.

Our cities infrastructure can't handle the growth we already have and now you want to take a lane away from one of the busiest streets. You already did this to Charlotte Street and pushed all of that traffic to merrimon. What's next one lane on our interstates and highways.

NO bike lanes are barely used and dangerous buses clog traffic. The Dixie Highway US25 gos from UP of Mich to S FLA

I'm against the 3 lanes and the bike lanes

Asheville is a growing city, but that should not come at the expense of safety for its residents or tourists. Currently, Merrimon Avenue is extremely dangerous not only to drive upon, but definitely to walk or bike. With the growth that is happening on Merrimon, traffic is only going to increase. It's important that the right decision is made for now and for the future. The proposed changes seem reasonable to us as local residents, but we need input from other citizens and business owners before we move forward.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize this new plan of eliminating lanes on Merrimon will result in chaos for drivers and all using this avenue.

I want to be informed about this change before it happens, not after the fact.

Merrimon Avenue / Hwy 25 is a commercial road connecting 60,000 plus residents to neighborhoods.  It is a not a road intended for recreational bicyclists' usage.

Merrimon Avenue is usually an already heavily traveled road. By taking a lane away I believe it would make the road less safe. No certain who or why a bike lane is needed.

So far, the lack of transparency  regarding so many issues, has been troubling and suspicious,.  Time for government in the sunshine.

I am concerned it’s going to make bad worse.  I was for the 5 lane

Removing any lanes or reducing the speed on Merrimon is not going to benefit traffic concerns. It will only make matters worse.

As a native Ashevillian, born at St. Joseph's Hospital in 1957 and raised in North Asheville, I am tired of seeing our residents, citizens and tax payers run over by the few and the privileged.  We are not represented when our voices are muted by those with authority. For instance, coopting Charlotte Street as an expansion to downtown.  In my 65 years in this town, Charlotte Street has always been considered residential North Aheville.  Why are you destroying the very essence of beautiful and historic Charlotte St when Tunnel Rd is available and needs rehabbing? You destroyed Beaucatcher Mountain decades ago to make it easier to get out there.  Yet, Tunnel Rd looks pretty much  the same since the 80's.  What's wrong with you  people?  How do you define success??? Protecting the health and nature of our city, respecting and representing its tax-paying citizens, NOT praying to the allmighty money god and making your Charlotte developer friends richer by destroying Asheville's assets are what I would like to see more of and is what I voted for.  Check yourselves.

I work in a home on Kimberly Ave. and see daily the number of cars that fly up and down Kimberly because they are avoiding Merrimon. A 4 lane Merrimon is bad enough, taking it down to 3 with a turning lane will be an absolute nightmare! I’ve lived here my whole life and the joke has always been that you should never try to turn left in Merrimon, even going back to when I first got my license in 1986! There has to be a better answer and I don’t believe this is it.

I am a long time, 1975, resident. I live in haw creek but lived in north asheville for years and worked on merrimon avenue for years at community family practice. The traffic on merrimon was always too clustered. Always too busy/congested no matter the time of day except for after six p.m. it is inconceivable to me for merrimon avenue to be a two lane with turning lanes. There are numerous streets to turn off in both directions. Now what?? Explain this 'better use concept to me'!!

Opposed

I am an Asheville native and Merrimon Ave has always been busy and prone to accidents. I think we need more discussion with locals to hear their opinion. I am personally worried that there will be more accidents

I believe it to be imperative to get opinions from citizens that live and work in & around Merrimon before anything is decided. I know how difficult it is to come to a meeting of the minds, but that is NOT a reason to forgo the discussion. This issue may need to be voted on.

There is a basic question which is based on whose interest us a primary corridor through the City deemed needed a "road diet" when it has been an estsblished and essential thoroughfare. If you slow diwn Merrimon, where is the overflow supposed to go.... on I-26, onto Broadway and the connecting surface streets between Broadway and Merrimon? Will Broadway then need a "road diet". This decision makes no sense.



Above and beyond this point,  all stakeholders need to weigh in on such an important, consequential decision as this. Not only residents and business owners, but also consider Asheville City Schools. With the magnet school system in place, school busses and after school programs already find it challenging to drive the Merrimon Avenue corridor. Restricting the number of lanes will make picking up and delivering children in a timely fashion even more challenging.



This is not a strategic decision with advantages outweighing disadvantages in any way that benefits the Asheville community in any way.

I am a working, tax paying city resident.  Merrimon ave is how many of us get to work and back.  We can no longer use Charlotte street because the traffic on that road from 7:30-8:30 AM; 4:30-6:30 PM is unbearable.  This has made Merrimon even more congested.  I agree a turn lane would be helpful, but there should be 5 lanes not 3.  Asheville is growing in population and thus more cars and traffic, how does DECREASING the lanes on a major artery in the city make sense??  I'm not opposed to bike lanes, I rarely see bikes on Merrimon, the few I see are on Charlotte,, heading up Macon, so it doesn't make sense to punish the working force to accommodate <1% of the population(bikers). 

 


I've taken the time to write this, but honestly, I don't feel the city leaders will listen.  Their minds seem to be made up, just as it was with Charlotte street. Maybe they all ride bikes and are part of that 1%??!!

Please do not change Merrimon ave to one lane.  I have lived in north Asheville the majority of my life and been traveling Merrimon for 38 years, this is a huge mistake!!!

I think the road is way too busy to take it down to 2 lanes & a turn lane. If the road can’t be widened they should leave it alone.

I live two houses away from Merrimon in the proposed impacted area and strongly oppose the idea of a road “diet”.  Charlotte Street has long traffic lines through much of the day and I do not feel there is any increased safety for pedestrians. I do not think bike lanes will make the streets safer nor will they increase people who choose to bike. It will just make life less pleasant for those of us who use Merrimon as part of our daily lives.

We enter Merrimon Avenue at Wembley Road.  Our entry is mostly turning left which over twenty years has become more difficult and dangerous.
Pleas to the DOT  have been answered with excuses why a traffic signal is not an option.

 


The first response was to place signage and holders for flags to be carried by pedestrians crossing the street.

 


That was upgraded a few years ago with signage and flashing lights.


Neither of these endeavors were of much help.  Vehicles mostly ignore the lights as pedestrians stand at the curb waiting for the traffic to stop.
Many times during the day you have to patiently wait for a break in traffic and that is complicated by waiting for safe openings in both directions.
Finally many resort to taking a chance and rush to make entry onto Merrimon.  This is not a safe maneuver.

 


Further to complicate the situation are the drivers who exceed the speed limit, especially those traveling north.

 


Additionally with a right turn lane the situation is complicated by vehicles racing in the right lane as far as the point where the right turn lane ends.
And finally, the traffic light at Merrimon creates a problem with vehicles turning left.  Frequently the traffic backs up to the boathouse or further.  This creates additional obstacles to overcome.

 


As a homeowner in the area I urge you to consider a solution to this problem in your proposal.

No bike lanes please! We don’t want more car-bike accidents or heaven-forbid, more deaths from accidents caused by encouraging bike traffic on this busy and essential commuter thoroughfare. Thank you.

Merrimon can not handle anymore traffic, bikes or construction. We can hardly navigate it now to be on time to work, appointments and school. There should be NO left turns anywhere on Merrimon especially to ACE, Wells Fargo, Walgreens, ABC, etc. That area needs work not a bike lane! Merrimon is an important daily route for many stakeholders and our voices need to be heard.

Yes, support open meetings for transparency in government.

 


Business owners feedback is especially important.
Thank you.

i am totally against the proposal to go from 4 lanes to 3

 


It would cause congestion, delays and would be less safe

It will put so many wonderful business out with this kind of disruption, not to mention that to avoid Merrimon everybody will take Kimberly in one of the nicest neighborhoods…and this street is NOT set up for traffic.

As an Asheville resident who frequents weekly, the businesses on Merrimon Avenue, I am not in favor of three lanes. The congestion and difficulty of patronizing businesses in the area will be a deterrent. In addition, I am concerned about the shortsightedness in continuing development without a long view master plan for growth and traffic in Asheville.

OPPOSED.

 


This project needs to slow down to give time for research and public input.

I feel that this fast moving north south corridor will not be made more bike and foot traffic friendly by the simple addition of non motorized shoulder lanes. It seems we need more data on road use prior to infrastructure changes

leave it as it is

Neither widening Merrimon Ave to 5 lanes (destroying too many businesses and buildings) nor narrowing to 3 lanes (way too much traffic; this isn’t Charlotte St.) works. I suggest either intersection improvements with better turn lanes and better traffic light syncing or, even better, a series of intersection roundabouts is a better solution. I’d see just a slight widening of the rest of the road for a bike lane to go along with the sidewalks and crosswalks to care for non-motorized traffic. This solution doesn’t solve the between intersection left turns, but is the least destructive solution I can imagine.

Who in their right mind would consider cutting down on the number of lanes on a major thoroughfare thru the City.

My concern is that in the case of an accident or road construction on I26/19-23, the only alternative for traveling north is Merrimon Ave. That's some serious traffic jams that could happen in this type of scenario.

Worst idea ever!  Too many businesses with driveways for a bike lane on the right, and busses stopping making it impossible to get anywhere.  This is a business road, not a thoroughfare.  There are much better routes for bicycles.  There is no comparison to Charlotte St which has far less traffic or business entrances.

Do NOT implement a "road diet". GRIDLOCK will be the result!

Too major an artery for bicycle lanes.  If you want to reduce injuries, lower and ENFORCE speed limits.

Needs to be more discussion on this. Merrimon is not Charlotte St and I forsee lots of problems.

slowing traffic would benefit pedestrians and vehicles that are navigating in and out of the facilities and businesses on Merrimon

This idea needs discussion as it affects everyone of us in significant ways.

I favor improving traffics on Merriman if it does not lead to a shift in traffic into the Grove Park Neighborhood.

I've lived in Asheville for 20 years on the east side. I avoid driving Merrimon at all costs as it's already deadly. The Charlotte street change has been ok; it's a shorter road  and less traveled. I use it to get to Kimberly to avoid Merrimon. I do not see how the proposed change would HELP the present traffic problems. It'll be worse and more dangerous. This road like others in So. AVL do not support the increased growth/traffic of AVL. Longer range, long term plans need to created. Bike lanes don't belong on major thoroughfares.

Having traveled the Merrimon Avenue corridor daily for approximately 46 years, I find the proposed reduction of the four lanes to three to be absolutely ludicrous as the median age of residents in north Asheville is about 50 years and very few ride bicycles. Further, by a reduction of lanes the back up on the roadway at specific times of the day will be terrible. I cannot think but times when I-26 has an accident or construction is taking place and the traffic is rerouted to Merrimon.

 


There are bike paths on Kimberly and Charlotte Street going both north and south with much less traffic on a daily basis which should be much safer for the bikers in addition to the less utilized Broadway corridor leading into and out of downtown.
All in all, it is my opinion that, in this case, the outspoken advocates for this change are getting more of the ear of the City Council, as usual, at the expense of the people in the neighborhoods that are subject to the expenses and demands of a few.

Opposed

Let’s have all the people at the table.

Don't rush, hear all the stake holders and folks like myself who drive this part of Merrimon Av. on a regular basis.

Reducing traffic on Merrimon will increase traffic through the adjoining neighborhoods - where there are bike lanes, nice sidewalks, and children playing.

I would love to see a safer Merrimon Ave. I live up Beaverdam Rd and if we had better, safer pedestrian infrastructure including bike lanes I would definitely use them for my local commutes and for errands.



I do wonder if the road diet is the best solution, though I have really enjoyed the change to Charlotte Street. Merrimon is simply busier. What happens on a road diet when a bus needs to stop? Can we consider round a bouts? Bus pull outs? How can we include a bike lane while also improving the flow of vehicular traffic? I think there are more creative solutions than simply repainting the road.

My family has lived on this side of town for 23 years and while I love biking myself, I feel there has been adequate provisions made for bike travel with the traffic calming measures taken on Kimberly Avenue and the road diet applied to Charlotte Street.



Traveling Merrimon Avenue multiple times daily there are times Merrimon Avenue needs more lanes not less. With all the additional homes built in the last twenty years in this area it is unrealistic to think we need even less access to the area.



The same people touting this as a good idea are some of the same people that used to much traffic on Charlotte Street to try and block construction projects that included affordable housing just before suggesting the road diet.



There have been adequate measure (Kimberly Ave. and Charlotte St.) that provide safe travel for the same route for bikes and walkers, now we have to consider efficient travel for those that live and work in this area that walking and biking isn't a daily reasonable expectation.

I think that the proposed changes will make it extremely dangerous for cyclists due to so many businesses, and vehicles cutting across the bike lane to get to them. It will slow traffic down so much that frustration will cause drivers to use the turn lane to overtake.

I am concerned it’s going to make bad worse.  I was for the 5 lane

I live on Merrimon Ave and have been witness to multiple accidents. The unchecked speed of so many motorists also makes it unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. I would like to see a plan implemented that takes into account the safety of all forms of transportation which would include some sort of traffic calming measures.

I am in favor of the 4-3 conversion.  I think it will enhance multimodal transportation and increase safety on Merrimon.

I don't think it's a smart decision to reduce lanes on Merrimon.

Drive it everyday- I’m against the diet plan. I’ve had no problems on this road and it runs smoothly.

The road diet on Charlotte Street is a problem at rush hour from 4-6 pm  when I am in the center turning left trying to cut across to get onto a side street to go home. Why would we want  to make another one? Commuters are sitting so long in off ramps on 240, they are then speeding in a single lane down Charlotte St so that trying to cross from the middle lane is extremely dangerous plus you can't even see if anyone is biking due to so many cars in line. Four lanes was much better because more cars were able to move down Charlotte St with less congestion caused by one lane. Also, these open house meetings are not a proper presentation like the one held in a small space for the Charlotte St road change. Hold a  proper informative session with people who are making these decisions presented and talking to the community  Present the facts. Take questions so all may learn all the facts and answers. Coming into these community walk arounds, homeowners don't even know who is in charge of these changes or who has the answers? Very uninformative. Numerous people asking the same questions. No organized answers? Seems like the planners are afraid to tell the people the real answer.  Also, too much weight and power and road is given to bike riders that don't exist. I see 5 bike riders a year yet they get 2 lanes on the road, the same as thousands of residents trying to get to work and school?  The Charlotte St road diet has forced people to the crowded side streets and to Merrimon. Where will North Asheville residents go now? This is another terrible road diet. I agree with NCDOT,  North Asheville needs 5 lanes to move more cars not restrict them. Bikes can ride on the side streets. This is not Mayberry anymore.

I think it would be a vast improvement if we buried the utility lines so we can expand the sidewalks.  I travel Merrimon daily and it is extremely dangerous.

Against converting to 3 lanes with bike lanes for many reasons, keeping in mind Kimberly Ave, which runs parallel to Merrimon, already has bike lanes

A road diet is not the answer.  There aren’t enough sidewalk walkers and bike riders on Merrimon to justify a road diet as these are the main excuses they’re giving to do it.  It’s not a downtown city street with tourists and workers. It’s a main thoroughfare.   The problem is merely population explosion, be it gradual or sudden.  The answer is not to reduce lanes and add turning lanes.  I believe the answer is traffic control and patience driving.  Law enforcement to keep traffic flowing at the speed limit - people are driving too fast or too slow. And driver patience.  People need to make turns - the wait isn’t that long but people can’t stand waiting.  To sum it up - not enough justification to reduce lanes when law enforcement of speed limits and traffic control is the answer.  For what it’s worth, that’s my input.

 


Thank you for reaching out!

I support the 4 to 3 conversion with the proposed intersection turn lanes (but it’s Edgewood, not Edgemont - and whoever’s working on on this should know that). Bury the utilities. Make a wide green buffer for the sidewalks. Plant trees there and maintain them. No bike lanes, way too dangerous.

In my opinion the ‘road diet’ proposed for Merrimon Avenue is not a good idea. Merrimon Avenue has too many businesses on both sides and way too much traffic to  downsize the lanes. Also the idea of putting bike lanes  is foolish. It is not a safe route for cyclist!  We have bike lanes on Kimberly and Charlotte Street. I would suggest putting bike lanes on Broadway for a safer route. I have lived in Asheville 40 years and use Merrimon daily. It’s a shame we didn’t widen Merrimon years ago before all the new buildings were constructed right up to the sidewalks. I vote NO to this proposal.

Traffic on Merrimon Avenue is already slow and backed up much of the time. What you need are left turn signals on all of the lights. Putting a road on a "diet" doesn't magically produce fewer cars.

This is a test to make sure the  form is working

I am concerned about the volume of traffic and am especially concerned about the addition of bike lanes for such a short distance on this busy stretch of road.  Speed limit needs enforced.

Merrimon Ave would be a total cluster mess if it’s changed to 3 lanes!  It is a busy road that I travel daily on and if anything it should be widened to eliminate  some of the traffic especially where there are traffic lights and cars turning left or right onto side streets!  It appears obvious that whomever is making these plans doesn’t live in Asheville!

With all the growth and building going on in Asheville and outlying towns why would anyone think restricting travel would help an already overcroaded main street ?

I have been a Restaurant owner on Merrimon Ave. and resident in North Asheville over the last 26 years. Merrimon Ave. in North Asheville between downtown and beaver lake is a commercial business zone.

 


Merrimon Ave. is 1 of 2 convenient traffic corridors from downtown to Woodfin.  Additionally, thousands of residences are accessed via Merrimon Ave.

 


Riverside dr., I 26, Broadway, are other possible roads to travel

 


and may be convenient if you are traveling to or from a residence or business west of Merrimon Ave.

 


Attempting to imagine the reduction of 4 lanes to 2 with a turning lane and bicycle lanes on the only main traffic corridor effecting hundreds of businesses and  thousands of residents is the definition of disconnected and unable to do the math.

 


The equitable use of existing roadways to increase the flow of walkers and bicyclists is an idea. In the case of Merrimon Ave. a really bad idea.
Traffic accidents and incidents will increase to the detriment of bicyclists.

 


Trying to pull out of any one of the more than many parking lots is already challenging.

 


Now add bicycles. The last thing North Asheville needs are more tourists on bicycle tour expeditions up and down Merrimon Ave. More bicycles and walkers on sidewalks complicating the pulling in and out of parking lots, turning at intersections and I haven't even brought up the long lines of traffic to be created by City buses stopping at bus stops with 1 lane in each direction.


Merrimon Ave. needs tweaking, not screwing.

The idea of a road diet on Merrimon Ave is ridiculous and should not happen! That road is already way to busy most of the day to have less lanes. In reality it needs more lanes and wider lanes.

Lived here all my life and there is no way we need bikes on merrimon. I live on webb cove and bikers that bike on beaverdam rd. are taking there life in there own hands.

This is such a bad idea. Merrimon Ave is a thoroughfare for several communities and towns. Thousands of vehicles travel this roadway daily for business, shopping, access to the I-26 interstate and much more. I travel this daily for work! Please rethink this plan!

don't change the road

No to reducing lanes. As a matter of fact it needs to increased to 5 lanes.

I am not in agreement with the proposed changes to Merrimom Avenue

1) The frequency of curb cuts/turns makes it potentially deadly for cyclists to ride to the right of turning motor vehicles.
2) The width of the bike lanes won't accommodate the buses, delivery trucks, trash trucks, and other vehicles that will use the bike to stop, thus jamming the one through lane.
3) The cuts are laid out on both sides so that one center turning lane won't allow for anything but head-to-head jockying.
4) The first responders exit directly onto Merrimon for all their calls and are skeptical that the center lane will stay clear for their emergencies. There is no comparison to Charlotte St, which is without a fire station situated similarly.



The solution is:
1) install additional traffic signals with left turn leads and crosswalks.
2) bury the utilities
3) install sidewalks on both sides of the street



All of these solutions should preceed the addition of any bike lanes.

As a long time business owner on Merrimon, I am highly concerned about the impact the changes would make for customers trying to visit my office.

I feel the congestion is already at times intolerable on Marion Avenue and I find it difficult to fathom that the change will do anything but make that situation worse! I’m very concerned also because especially the Trader Joe’s area can be quite dangerous. The business I own was not directly on Merriman but on Arlington (off Charlotte Street ) . It is for many clients extremely difficult to get onto Charlotte Street -they need to travel through backstreets & circle around just to get to a light to have a chance of merging with traffic.

 


If this is the situation now how dangerous will it be as our population and tourist density grows?

Please consider all stakeholder voices; not just the loudest.

I live 2 blocks off Merrimon and walk Merrimon a lot because of the shopping convenience. I would rather walk Merrimon than drive on it.  It is a driving disaster!  I often take Ottari to Kimberly to Charlotte to avoid Merrimon.  I remember the protest about changing Charlotte, and find Charlotte a pleasure to drive on now.  Merrimon has significantly more traffic than Charlotte.  Some people are complaining that this will make it inconvenient to shop on Merrimon.  BS!  You would still be able to get to any business you need to get to!  But again Merrimon has significantly more traffic than Charlotte. How about moving some of that traffic (especially the US25 traffic that uses Merrimon to get to and from downtown or I240). Get US 25 traffic over to Broadway where there is very limited business.   I now that would take getting the US DOT approval big deal!  Most people who drive Merrimon regularly usually try to stay in the right lane anyway to avoid the pain of making a left turn almost anywhere on Merrimon!  That's what slows traffic down and makes frustrated drivers stuck behind the left turner do stupid things.  The speed limit on Merrimon is 35 mph, that is too fast!  It's 35mph because its considered US 25 and not an AVL street, and NC DOT can't or won't change it without US DOT permission.  If I was NC DOT or AVL, I would change it.  Merrimon is a city street!  Not a US highway.

 


I know NC DOT has many studies to show that the proposed change will not increase driving time significantly and will be a lot safer for everyone.  As a Merrimon driver an extra minute or 2 is insignificant compared to improved safety for everyone!

My husband and I live off of Beaverdam Road and have witnessed first hand, how busy Merrimon Avenue is, and how the area is growing and becoming busier and busier.  The infrastructure is old and needs improvement for everyone.  It’s a thoroughfare unlike any other we’ve ever known, with multiple businesses, numerous driveways and intersections, major Shopping Stores with Frequent Deliveries, Schools, Churches, Bus Stops, pedestrians, A nearby University, Cracked Sidewalks with telephone Poles obstructing the way, and much worse and more.  We agree it’s totally unsafe, and needs an updated plan and money spent on improvement.

 


The recent notice to put this hot mess on a Road Diet, and add 2 Bike lanes with all these turns and driveways is totally irresponsible and inappropriate for this location. This would be unsafe to Bicyclists. We feel this has been pushed through and we are at an unfair advantage just learning about this weeks before the presentation and meeting. Target Groups & AOBs have been involved in these workshops with the City Of Asheville since last year, and the City is using Biased Surveys formulated by Asheville on Bikes, who are proposing this under an umbrella of safety, but want the DOT to paint in 2 Bike lanes?  How is that safe?   We would like to have a new independent, non-partisan professional survey with Traffic Rates, hour by hour, month to month, including Holidays and Tourist Season, with stacking rates into major establishments and intersections.  There has been very little transparency regarding this from the City of Asheville.  We are very concerned.

I live 2 houses off of Merrimon on Coleman, which is the street with the light that many large trucks and car use as cut-through. More traffic lights would be a good first start rather than this proposed plan.

I not in favor of the 4 to 3 proposal.

As a former resident of North Asheville currently residing in Weaverville, I am very familiar with Merrimon and it’s challenges. However, I am extremely concerned about the possibility of another municipal project being rammed through the approval process without open communication and discussion with businesses and residents directly impacted by this proposed plan.

 

I support taking marrimon down to two lanes with a center turning lane and adding a bike lane. This is a great plan!!

The "diet" plan for Merrimon is a terrible one. Merrimon is, first and foremost, a highway. Biking infrastructure is important, but you have two much better options for bike routes using the parallel avenues of Broadway and Kimberley/Charlotte St.

 


If the city wants to make Merrimon safer for pedestrians, install push buttons that activate flashing lights/signs at crosswalks.

 


While infrastructure continues to be expanded for the rise in traffic by widening roads and interstates, shrinking Merrimon is absolutely a counter-productive plan that will create more congestion, frustrated drivers, and have the effect of pushing more traffic into the residential areas on either side of Merrimon.

I live in Weaverville and 90% of the time use Merrimon as my route in and out of Asheville.  Merrimon, just north of Asheville downtown, has businesses provide 70% of my shopping needs, from food, to doctors,  to pet shops/hospital, to restaurants/bakery that 'i use.  So, I definitely want to know and be involved with choices made by the NCDOT and Asheville/Woodfin public officials.  An additional area that particularly concerns me is the Merrimon/New Stock Rd. intersection which is a tremendous drivers challenge.  Two years ago I had a major accident on this intersection causing major damage to my car. What frustrated me the most was the Woodfin police officers who, although very helpful,....off hand said...'Oh yes....this is a very bad, accident prone traffic intersection that needs correcting....we think this area is under consideration for complete re-planing of the roads/SIX confusing  intersections that frequently are the cause of accidents.

 


How is this "road diet" going to remedy this well known problem?

There is too much bus traffic to make this work, the back ups will be exhaustive, and cause frustrated drivers to use the center turn lane as a passing lane. Dangerous!  I’m a cyclist but I use the safer corridor of Kimberly and Charlotte St., bike lanes aren’t a necessity on merrimon. The sidewalks can definitely use improvement!

The road diet is a terrible idea. It would make Merrimon traffic even more crowded, with no ability to turn across  bumper to bumper cars into businesses. It would also endanger bicyclists rather than helping them because drivers would be turning at as high of speeds as possible in order to cut through any gap in the only driving lane. Encouraging bicyclists to drive on Merrimon is just plain DANGEROUS! A road diet from what I read can handle 15,000-17,000 cars per day and Merrimon has an excess of 21,000 cars per day. Merrimon is actually US25, a 750 Mile highway from Georgia to Ohio, not a city corridor. There are several streets, Broadway, Charlotte and Kimberly which run parallel to Merrimon, where cyclists can already ride. Leave US25 for automobile traffic.