The following is a press release from the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (FBRMPO):
Regional Planning Organization awards $25 million for Asheville area active transportation and transit projects
The French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (FBRMPO) recently authorized more than $25 million of funding for transportation projects in the French Broad River MPO region.
The MPO selected projects that included sidewalk, greenway and bus purchase projects in Buncombe County, Asheville, Black Mountain, Canton and Mills River. Of those funds, $17.7 million in federal transportation funds will go to transportation projects managed by the City of Asheville.
The funding will pay for 10 new transit buses to begin implementing the City’s new Transit Master Plan. The majority of these buses are scheduled to be zero-emission electric models.
The grants also include funding the construction of two shovel-ready greenways in Asheville — Town Branch Greenway and the French Broad River West Greenway. These two projects were initially planned to coincide with the City’s River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP).
The City of Asheville also received funding for construction of sidewalks on New Haw Creek Road, Onteora Boulevard and Johnston Boulevard. All three sidewalk projects were partially funded through the bonds passed by the City and supplemented by funding from the MPO.
Additional regional projects funded include:
- Buncombe County received construction funding for Hominy Creek Greenway in the Enka area, scheduled for construction in 2020
- The Town of Black Mountain received additional funding for the Riverwalk Greenway
- The Town of Canton received funding for preliminary engineering and right-of-way for sidewalks on Champion Drive from North Canton Road to Thickety Road
- The Town of Mills River was awarded funding for preliminary engineering for a multi‐use path on N.C. 280 from the French Broad River to Haywood Road/N.C. 191
“Funding bicycle, pedestrian, greenway and transit projects supports goals identified in the regional transportation plan, MTP 2040,” said French Broad River MPO Director Lyuba Zuyeva. “And from national research we know that improving active transportation and transit options can improve safety and reduce congestion for all travelers, contribute to better public health outcomes and help create more livable communities.”
To determine which projects receive funding, the MPO ranks projects based on their expected impact on safety, connectivity and congestion on the transportation network while also trying to be sensitive to the needs of smaller towns and jurisdictions.
The MPO Board is made up of elected representatives of local governments in the region as well as representatives of NCDOT and local transit agencies. The board voted to approve the list of projects receiving funds during their June meeting. The projects selected for funding are expected to be implemented between 2019 and 2021. Find more information about STBG funding allocated through the French Broad River MPO available at this link: