Greenways and trails are having greater awareness in our community. Just in the past few months citizen input has influenced the following projects:
- Asheville River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP) to increase from a single 10′ wide trail to a full 16′ wide multi-use trail along the river. This section of greenway is the central core of the county masterplan and must be wide enough to serve the anticipated number of users.
- Woodfin Greenway and Blueway and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to contribute $2,250,000 to the Woodfin project.
- Riverside Drive 251 connector between RAD and Woodfin to be shifted to a higher priority by the City of Asheville and include both a separated bike lane on a NCDOT improvement of Riverside Drive and a greenway following the river.
- Merrimon Avenue and W.T. Weaver Boulevard road improvements by NCDOT to review state requirements for Complete Street improvements and reconsider the pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure connecting to the existing Glens Creek Greenway. Take this opportunity to express thanks to Asheville Council members for taking NCDOT to task on this.
The completion of these new greenways by 2020 will result in a connected paved trail of over 12 miles from Woodfin’s Reynolds Village on Merrimon Avenue to Hominy Creek Park south of Asheville on the French Broad River.
This isn’t all that is happening either. The town of Weaverville is developing the Reems Creek Greenway from Karpen Fields that will eventually connect to the French Broad River. Black Mountain is extending their trail network. Connect Enka continues to work to connect five Enka District Public Schools. There are efforts underway to connect Hominy Creek to the WNC Farmers Market, build out Beaucatcher Greenway as a natural surface trail, extend Town Branch Greenway as a portion of the River to Ridge Greenway and Trail network in Asheville, and others.
These trails would not be progressing without public support and involvement. You have a role to play in this. Connect with us so together we can Connect Buncombe!
-Robbie Sweetser, Board President, Connect Buncombe