UNCA’s Blue Banner: Asheville to expand greenways throughout city

By Brooke Randle, News writer, brandle@unca.edu

The city of Asheville and the surrounding areas continue to expand a network of greenways, providing a safe way to commute for bikers and pedestrians.

Derek Turno, board member for the Asheville Parks and Greenways Foundation, said the expansion utilizes existing sections of greenway to fill in as the missing links to connect the city.

“There’s kind of a spider web that’s happening to the greenway down on the river,” Turno said. “It’s kind of the main greenway and then, through little pieces of city property, the connecting greenways are being developed.”

For UNC Asheville students, the proposed greenway expansion near the Asheville Botanical Gardens will provide easy access to the French Broad River.

“If you get on Broadway and go down to that Riverside intersection, that’s where the new greenway is going to start,” Turno said. “It’s going to go five miles downriver, so you can easily run or ride your bike from the school down to the river.”

According to information from the city of Asheville, greenways are pathways specifically designed for bikes, pedestrians and any other non-motorized vehicles. Greenways provide residents with a safe transportation alternative to driving, as well as opportunities to enjoy the natural landscape Asheville offers.

Lucy Crown, a UNCA alumni and greenways coordinator for the city of Asheville, said although residents often use Asheville’s greenways for exercise and leisure, one of the main goals of the expansion is to provide a system of pathways to connect different areas of town.

“Most of the time you’ll see people out there recreating and part of that is because they’re really fun to go out and experience on your own or with family and friends on great days,” Crown said. “You’ll be able to travel throughout this greenway network more easily.”

Crown said the pet-friendly greenways allow for a safe place for residents to walk or bike.

“All of them are made to get around without a car,” Crown said. “You can use a stroller, you can take your dog. They’re open to everyone.”

Read more, including some quotes from RiverLink Executive Director Garrett Artz.

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