City to develop comprehensive bicycle plan

ASHEVILLE – The city of Asheville is asking area residents to offer ideas for making the city more bicycle-friendly. Nationally known experts on bicycle planning will be in Asheville this week to share information and gather public input at an open house from 4-7 p.m. Thursday in the Public Works Building.

The city has hired consultants from Toole Design Group and Livable Streets, Inc. to prepare Asheville’s first comprehensive bicycle plan. The plan, which is partially funded by the North Carolina DOT, will provide recommendations for short-term and long-term improvements for bicycle transportation. Strategies might include completing key links in the Asheville greenway system, and connecting that system to on-road improvements such as bike lanes or paved shoulders.

“We want to make it easier for bicyclists and motorists to safely share the road,” said Dan Baechtold, a transportation planner with the French Broad River MPO, who is assisting the city on this project. “This plan will help identify priorities for making investments in bicycle transportation.”

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