Asheville city council has given approval to a ‘road diet’ plan for Charlotte Street in north Asheville.
A ‘road diet’ for Charlotte Street means it will lose one lane for motor vehicles – going from four to three. That leftover space will then go to bike lanes and safer routes for pedestrians along the road from I-240 to Edwin Place. Like a lot of Asheville, that area has seen a lot of growth in recent years – not just in economic activity but also in vehicle traffic. And Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer says the road diet for the stretch of Charlotte Street will aid the safety of residents in the area. “Charlotte Street is dangerous. It is very dangerous. Our previous city attorney’s mother was killed crossing Charlotte Street many years ago," Manheimer said during a council meeting Tuesday. "It is not a safe place. And trying to use the new pedestrian infrastructure we put in – the crosswalks – is still a leap of faith because many cars may not see the flashing lights.”
City council Tuesday evening OK’d awarding a contract to a firm to start designing the changes. The plan is to have construction start as early as this spring, and have the project completed no later than next fall.