Dear Asheville City Council, NCDoT, and AVL Multimodal Transit Committee:

Strong Towns Asheville is submitting this letter to request inclusion of the following 5 features/additions to the
proposed NCDOT Haywood Road Resurfacing Project:

  1. Surface treated or decorative asphalt crosswalks to increase contrast and awareness
  2. Green infrastructure at the triangle at the intersection of Majestic and Haywood
  3. Bikes May Use Full Lane signs at regular intervals wherever no bike lane is present
  4. Green painted bike lanes
  5. Buffering lanes exceeding 10′ widths down to 10′ for optical narrowing

Surface Treated/Decorative Crosswalks

Our group is pleased to see that the NCDOT Haywood plan calls for pedestrian bulb outs and continental crosswalk
markings in the Haywood Road project. However, we request that decorative or surface treated crosswalks to provide
an additional level of contrast to the streetscape, indicating to road users that they are entering a surface intended for
a new purpose. A study on decorative crosswalks found a “25 percent decrease in pedestrian crossings involving a
conflict with drivers”, “27 percent increase in frequency of drivers immediately yielding to pedestrians with the
right-of-way”, and a “38 percent decrease in pedestrians crossing against the walk signal.” (Asphalt Art Safety Study, Decorative Crosswalks Case Study Series)

Green Infrastructure

Where possible, we would ask for green infrastructure to be installed in the streetscape to provide both traffic calming
and stormwater detention/filtration. Specifically, the triangle of white diagonal striping (T41) called for at the
intersection of Majestic and Haywood could be converted into rain garden detention basins with green infrastructure
similar to what is currently found in the pedestrian island and at the corner of Westwood and Haywood.

Bikes May Use Full Lane Signs

Bikes May Use Full Lane Signs should be installed at regular intervals along the entire extent of the corridor where
there is not a dedicated bike lane. These signs provide crucial notice to motorists to not only expect bicycles, but to
inform motorists of the cyclist’s entitlement to the entire lane. We understand that NCDOT has denied implementation of these signs in the past, but we firmly believe their denial is based on their mischaracterization of the legal implications of the vehicular code as it pertains to bicycles.

Green Painted Bike Lanes

Where there are designated bike lanes, we ask that they be painted green to create contrast and draw more attention
that this space is distinct from the general use lanes. Similar to the decorative crosswalks requested above and the
buffering requested below, visual delineation will promote safety and lessen conflicts between the proper users of
these adjacent facilities.

Buffer Lanes Exceeding 10’ Widths Down to 10’ Widths

Numerous stretches of Haywood lanes exceed widths of 10 feet, which will encourage speeding above the 20-25
mph posted limit. It is well established that motorists drive at speeds the infrastructure allows rather than the posted
speed limit. Road widths of 12 and 14 feet encourage speeds well in excess of 20mph. As such, where the design
calls for lane widths over 10 feet, we ask that the lane be narrowed with a thermoplastic barrier filled with diagonal
striping like in (T41). This striping will create an optical narrowing effect which has been shown to reduce motorists’
speeds when implemented in a lane that is otherwise engineered for a higher speed. People drive the design, not the
sign.

Strong Towns is a grassroots community organization dedicated to resilient, safe, and prosperous community. We
have requested the items above because we see them to be critical to the safety and vibrance of the corridor, and
also inexpensive and easily implemented given the limited budget and the short timeline for the Haywood Rd
resurfacing project.


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