The City has been working with Asheville on Bikes and Connect Buncombe to develop a plan to install buffered bike lanes on College Street and Patton Avenue in the core of Downtown. These new bike facilities will connect to other existing bike lanes and future bike lanes that are planned. The City would like to gather feedback on the proposed design and plans from the public, Downtown businesses, and property owners prior to planned installation in Summer 2022.
Background and Project Details
The project proposes to add a buffered bike lane to College Street between Spruce Street and Pritchard Park as well as a buffered bike lane on Patton Avenue between Pritchard Park and Biltmore Avenue.
- Because College and Patton are one-way streets in the core of downtown, the project team analyzed whether a bike lane should be installed on the left side of the street or the right side of the street.
- Bike lanes on the left side of a one-way street are becoming more common because they generally have less conflicts with right-turning vehicles, transit stops, and driveways.
- As seen in the table below, a bike lane on the left side of the street would result in a lower number of potential conflicts between a bicycle user and other vehicles using the roadway, although it would require one additional parking space to be removed.
|5||On-street parking conflicts/interactions||11|
|0||Transit stop conflict/interactions||5|
- Therefore, the bike lanes are proposed to be installed on the left side of each street.
Pros and Cons of the Project
- Residents, downtown employees, and visitors will have another safe, affordable transportation option to access downtown business and services.
- The project will serve existing and future bicyclists, including e-bike users and a possible future City bike-share program.
- Adding bicycle facilities has been shown to reduce parking demand and increase economic development.
- The project will provide dedicated space for bicyclists, which increases safety for all road users.
- The project will not require changes to traffic signals and is not expected to have a significant impact on traffic flow.
- No impact to business access or driveways is expected.
- A total of 4 on-street parking spaces would be removed with the project.
- Some existing commercial loading zones may need to be relocated or reconfigured.
- The project requires that one lane for vehicle travel be removed on each roadway.
Cost and Budget
Non-profit partners, Asheville on Bikes and Connect Buncombe, funded the initial designs through local donations. The initial designs were completed by local consulting firm, Traffic Planning and Design, in cooperation with the City of Asheville.
$100,000 in the City budget is already programmed in City of Asheville City Improvement Plan (CIP) for implementation, including costs for:
- Pavement markings
- Vertical delineators
- Traffic control during installation
- Focused stakeholder conversations with property and business owners and employees that work in the project area, including:
- Virtual project open houses in February and March of 2022
- Guided walking tour of the project area in March 2022
- Additional engagement with Asheville Downtown Association, Downtown Commission, and Multimodal Transportation Committee and other groups as needed in March and April of 2022
- Revise plan as needed
- Bid invitation in Spring 2022
- Summer 2022 installation
Jessica Morriss, Assistant Director of Transportation