Transportation planning took center stage at Monday night’s county Board of Commissioners meeting.
Board members voted to apply for a greenway feasibility study and deliberated supporting a move that would increase the county’s contributions to the local metropolitan planning organization to help fund corridor studies.
The idea for a new greenway came from recent meetings with concerned residents and state officials about the proposed widening of Kanuga Road, Commissioner Bill Lapsley said. It’s his view that all pedestrian and bicycle traffic be kept as far as possible from vehicles on the street, namely, on a greenway.
Lapsley, Hendersonville City Councilman Steve Caraker and Flat Rock Village Councilman John Dockendorf met with NCDOT, Lapsley said, and agreed that sidewalks from Erkwood Drive farther down toward toward the new Publix weren’t necessary for the success of the project, nor were bike lanes.
He presented the idea of a greenway. His suggestion, he said, is that the county take the lead on working toward securing grant funds for the feasibility study from the French Broad River Metropolian Planning Organization and see if it’s feasible and cost-effective.
The county voted unanimously to apply for the study, which would examine the potential for a new greenway between Publix and Erkwood Drive, hoping to involve the city of Hendersonville down the road.
“I’d like to see the county take the lead in getting the study done,” Lapsley said. “And then let’s see what it ends up costing, if it’s feasible and what the cost would be, and then we could either pass it over to the city of Hendersonville and let them take it on like they did the Oklawaha Greenway, or this board can consiser participating.”
A preliminary map presented at the meeting shows the greenway running along Mud Creek between Publix, at Greenville Highway and White Street, and Erkwood Drive. The city currently has an easement for an existing gravity sewer line along one side, Lapsely said, the most plausible location for a greenway, as it will likely be easier to get new permissions from landowners where there is aleady an easement rather than geting a new easement altogether.
The possible greenway, the potential of which has already been discussed by the village of Flat Rock, could provide an alternative to Kanuga Road for cyclists and pedestrians.
The FBRMPO currently has an open call for…