Friday, March 10, 2006

Bike and Pedestrian Task Force

Attended the inaugural Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan Task Force meeting at the West Asheville Community Center, 970 Haywood.

The presentation briefly covered the Metropolitan Planning Organization and it's role in helping to develop a state-wide multimodal transportation improvement program (TIP). The all-volunteer task force is set up to gather, document and report on input for the MPO. Cynthia Nix was the presenter.

When pressed on the subject, Nix explained that they were interested in accommodating a cycling market--both manifest and potential--instead of seeking to influence transportation behavior.

She cited membership in the Blue Ridge Cycling Club at 250 and in the Asheville Racing Club at 250 (with minimal overlap); and her own retail cycling business mailing list of 5,000 (purged bi-annually). She also told me of a 1980 survey that went to the public in city water bills asking about the need or desire for more bike and pedestrial accommodation with a 30% positive response.

French Broad River MPO transit planner Jeff Burns was present and shared a detailed graphic showing the state's transit planning roadmap. Jeff promised to post the graphic online at The purview of the French Broad River MPO is the urbanized areas of Buncombe County, Haywood County, and Henderson County.