Magazine article Parks & Recreation

French Broad River Greenway Extension

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

French Broad River Greenway Extension

Article excerpt

Asheville, North Carolina

The French Broad River Greenway Extension in Asheville, North Carolina is a 1.2 mile bicycle and pedestrian facility that transects city, county, state, and private properties by way of permanent easements and right-of-way encroachments. It took the city more than five years and $135,000 to assemble the 3.5 acres of right-of-way needed for the project that unites two significant riverfront parks. The trail has on-road and off-road segments and follows the north bank of the French Broad River, providing rich pastoral views of the historic Biltmore estate. A section of the trail runs through the middle of a family-owned recreational vehicle park and along the storefront of a RV repair shop as well as a river canoeing outfitter, which stands as a testament to the role greenways can play in economic development.

Linking a diversity of uses along the greenway corridor which include developed commercial properties, state highway, and parkland was among the many project challenges. To superimpose a seamless trail over such a complex environment required a strong emphasis on transportation infrastructure improvements such as sidewalks and shared travel lanes that are becoming more typical of the "greenway" fabric in areas like Asheville where urbanization is outpacing conservation and flat open space is at a premium. …

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