After pedestrian death, Asheville City Council scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to open pedestrian bridge over I-240 at Smoky Park Bridge
Asheville City Council is scheduled on Tuesday to talk about, and hopefully decide, whether or not to ask the state Department of Transportation to open the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 240 at the Smoky Park Bridge.
Back in June, a 25-year-old man trying to cross the busy highway to get to Hillcrest Apartments was struck and killed. It’s the third time that’s happened since the mid 1990s. I think the bridge should be reopened, but the issue is complicated, and City Council must weigh everything community input to the cost.
A staff report to council lays out everything from the history, to minutes from community meetings. There was also a survey done of Hillcrest residents, and the survey results will be presented Tuesday. The staff is presenting a few basic options:
-Improve signage to tell pedestrians not to cross the highway. Cost – $500
-Repair breaks in fencing to keep people from being able to access, and cross, the highway. Cost – $15,000
-Work will Hillcrest residents to emphasize other routes and modes of transport. Cost – Zero
-Reopen the bridge. Cost: About $175,000 initially, and about $145,000 a year after that.
The cost to reopen the bridge sounds high, but the staff report is factoring in major fixes required for the bridge right now, and the ongoing expense to the Asheville Police Department to patrol and keep safe the area around the bridge.
I still say reopening the bridge is the way to go. We’ll see what City Council decides.
Category: Asheville News