Save Merrimon Ave Before It’s Too Late

Save Merrimon Ave Before It’s Too Late

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Save Merrimon started this petition

WE MUST SAVE MERRIMON

With very little opportunity for public input, a small but vocal group of Asheville residents have succeeded in convincing the city to subtract a lane from Merrimon Ave, a major commercial thoroughfare that sees over 20,000 vehicles per day.

It is already evident that this is creating backups, delays, safety issues, and driving more traffic onto residential streets, like Kimberly Ave. Once the final resurfacing and lines are completed, there is little chance that it will be reversed - the City Manager has already indicated to some that they are rethinking the conversion, so we have to keep the pressure on!

Merrimon Ave carries 24,000 vehicles per day, significantly higher than the recommended upper threshold for this type of conversion. Aside from that, it is recommended that access should be limited to 12 driveways per mile - this 1.5 mile stretch of Merrimon has over 70 driveways. Taking these two factors into account, the conversion is not only inconvenient, it’s unsafe. Multiple local public safety organizations, including the Asheville Firefighter’s Association and Fraternal Order of Police voiced concerns, stating, “We don’t feel like what is proposed is safe nor is convenient.” Their concerns seemingly fell on deaf ears. 

In the USDOT Road Diet Case Studies document that is being posted by advocates in many online forums as proof that these conversions work, all but one of the case studies are for roads that carried 10,000-15,000 less vehicles per day than Merrimon. The one outlier was a mostly residential street in Santa Monica, CA, and the study states that that conversion rerouted 3,000-4,500 vehicles per day to other streets. Can Kimberly Ave and other residential streets safely handle that increase in daily traffic?

If this succeeds in becoming permanent, there will likely be a push for "road diets" throughout the city, making traffic in Asheville worse than it already is. While they may succeed on less trafficked roads and/or in more residential areas, Merrimon carries too much traffic and is too commercial. The possible more nefarious component is that under the thinly veiled guise of safety, this is a means to an end for cycling groups and extreme anti-car activists to effectively ban cars by making traffic so bad that it’s impossible to drive. 

We must stand up as a community and let our leadership know that this is not what the majority of residents want!

Please also reach out directly to the city to voice your concerns:

  • City Manager - 828-259-5604
  • DOT - 828-250-3000
  • City Transportation - 828-232-4531
  • Mayor Esther Manheimer - esthermanheimer@avlcouncil.com
0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!