Citizens of Asheville must STOP THE SUPER HIGHWAY BEFORE IT DESTROYS THE CHARACTER OF OUR beautiful and historic CITY.
Just when other cities are converting blight-ridden overpasses and inner city highways into beltways and greenways, Asheville is facing massive new highway expansion. Miles of asphalt and elevated loops will forever change Asheville into just another expressway-cluttered city.
If the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) follows through with their plan (called Alternative 4B), and the City of Asheville continues to support the plan, construction will begin in just a few years and last for a decade.
SOME OF THE WRECKAGE
• Two massive elevated sections called “flyovers” will stand up to 80 feet above and across the French Broad River, providing the only way for I-240 traffic into and out of the city.
• Acres of trees and vegetation along the east side of the river will be cut out in order to create a total of eight to ten lanes of highways
• A towering retaining wall, up to 70 feet high, will loom over historic 90-acre Riverside Cemetery.
• The Hillcrest community will face a 25-foot high retaining wall to separate their homes from the extreme highway traffic noise.
• Land under the elevated highways and flyways (such as the Salvage Station) and land adjacent to the highways (right-of-way) will become unusable, leaving Asheville with acres of wasteland, litter and blight.
• Increased noise and air pollution will attack the senses as I-26 lanes increase at the Haywood Road exit in West Asheville and where they converge near Broadway on the east side of the river.
GOOD IDEA, BAD OUTCOME
Most of the highway infrastructure plans result from taking I-240 traffic off the Bowen Bridge. The idea of a “gateway” bridge for local traffic and bicycles to connect Patton Avenue in West Asheville with Asheville has been advanced by the Asheville Design Center and supported by the city since the early 2000’s. But while visionary in concept, the reality of the NCDOT engineered version creates unintended consequences - a myriad of flyovers and elevated highways that overwhelms small Asheville.
Some in city government who advocate for Alt. 4B believe that the NCDOT plan can be downsized or improved. However, federal highway standards dictate size and scope. Asheville land is finite. The project already takes every possible inch alongside the new Isaac Dickson School, the Hillcrest Apartments, and the west edge of Montford. There’s nowhere else for it to go without cutting into many residential neighborhoods.
LET’S RE-THINK THE PROJECT
Asheville is a thriving community for those who live here and for the thousands of tourists who visit. Asheville’s draw is its small-scale walkable historic and artsy neighborhoods and the magnificent natural environment of the mountains, farms and rivers. Asheville’s tourist draw is its welcome respite from crowded, impersonal cities divided by freeways and expressways. Why kill our beautiful small city with a massive highway system looming over us?
At the very least, scale back this monumental plan to a more reasonable size, one that accommodates neighborhoods instead of destroying them. The completion of this project will decimate the city of Asheville the way a mall might have done in the early 80’s. Leaders and citizens at that time had the foresight to fight what many thought was a “great plan”. Alt 4B is another “great plan” that will destroy Asheville if we let it.
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
Sign the “Don’t Wreck Asheville” petition here and add your comments. These will be sent to the city, NCDOT, and all parties responsible for this disastrous plan.