The Way of the Green

One fine fall evening around dusk about two years ago, I was cruising down Montford Avenue on my bicycle, helmet on head, headlights flashing.  All of a sudden, an oncoming car made a quick turn in front of me forcing me to slam on my brakes, which sent me flying over the handle bars.  I did a belly flop on the pavement and went into mild shock, but fortunately, did not suffer any long-term injuries.

This incident got me thinking, what choices do non-vehicular travelers have for getting around town?  Sure we can “Share the Road” with cars and ride in designated bike lanes where they exist.  But what if pedestrians and cyclists could connect from Point A to Point B without worrying about encroaching motor-vehicles or oncoming traffic?

Greenways provide opportunities for alternative modes of transportation, typically along open space and stream corridors.  Greenway networks connect parks, neighborhoods, schools, work, farmers markets and other destinations while contributing to a healthier environment, a better quality of life, and an increase in economic opportunities.

Greenways offer a safe and fun route for the casual walker, cycler, or runner.

In Buncombe County, there are currently 10 miles of existing greenways with over 200 miles proposed.  Where will these greenways go and where will they connect?  You tell us.  Equinox is currently working with Buncombe County and its partners throughout the region in updating Buncombe County’s 2008 Parks, Greenways, and Recreation Master Plan.   The plan will integrate Asheville’s preliminary greenway plan, Land of Sky’s Linking Lands Project, and most importantly input from YOU!

Attend one of the meetings in your community and make your voice heard:

October 20th at the Wilma Sherrill Center at UNC Asheville, 5:30-7pm

October 24th at the Land-of-Sky Regional Council, 5:30-7pm

October 27th at the Skyland Fire Department, 5:30-7pm

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but would like to contribute your input into the planning process, complete this brief online survey.

It took a few weeks after my accident to rally up the courage to get back on my bicycle, but before long I was once again cruising the streets of Asheville envisioning a time in the near future when I can meander through town via greenways!

-Lindsay Majer, Environmental Planner and Greenway Lover!

Equinox provides a full range of solutions for planning, design and ecosystem management services. Find out more >>