Signatures to date: 138
The Don’t Wreck Asheville Coalition (DWAC) is a grassroots group of Asheville organizations, businesses, and residents united in its determination to ensure that the 2015 NCDOT plans for the I-26 connector highway expansion are not constructed in their current form. Further, DWAC asserts:
- Current plans to construct three new elevated highway river crossings at the western edge of downtown Asheville will:
- create an ugly and confusing concrete jungle of highways, retaining walls, and sound walls at the western entrance of Asheville that will destroy the viewscapes that are part of Asheville’s tourist draw;
- destroy greenway through the clear-cutting of mature trees and impede recreational river access north of Patton Avenue; and,
- destroy the adjoining neighborhoods and the city’s recent riverfront renaissance.
- The curvature of the two new I-240 fly-over bridges envisioned in 4B will be dangerous to visitors and residents of Asheville alike. According to a study by the national Transportation Research Board, approximately 25% of fatal crashes each year occur along horizontal curves, so the dangers associated with the current I-26 routing north of the Bowen Bridge will just be replaced by creating a dangerous new configuration for I-240.
- The negative consequences of constructing massive fly-over highways to remove all I-240 traffic from the Bowen Bridge are not worth the cost or devastating impacts to our community. While city leadership insists that removing highway traffic from the Bowen Bridge is intended to increase multi-modal connectivity between neighborhoods, the result of the current plans will, in fact, reduce access between neighborhoods and to the riverfront.
- NCDOT’s own traffic projections for I-26 and surrounding roadways don’t justify the massive size and scope of the highway expansion that is based on Asheville dynamics that existed decades ago. While six to eight highway lanes may make sense in major metropolitan areas like New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, they are of a super-sized scale not needed in a town the size of Asheville.
- Nothing can realistically be done to minimize the size of the highway infrastructures presented in the current NCDOT planning documents due to the constraints of meeting federal highway standards. In fact, the 4B plans require a wider footprint because one of the few proven ways to reduce safety risks on highways with a horizontal curve is by widening the lanes and shoulders.
Therefore, the undersigned demand that the City of Asheville and NCDOT shelve the existing I-26 connector highway plans, and instead work collaboratively to develop a plan that does not negatively impact the residents, neighborhoods and businesses of Asheville.