ASHEVILLE NC – Vaidila Satvika, formerly the Director of the NYC Plaza Program, will discuss the radical approach that is leading New York City to take back underutilized streets to make more space for people. In the densest city in the U.S., leaders are demolishing streets to build places for people to sit, for children to play, and for plants to grow. How is this possible? What lessons can we learn? And what is causing cities everywhere to think more seriously about the transportation paradigm?
The NYC example is rebalancing streets through a multimodal effort that has brought about bus rapid transit, a drastically expanded bicycle program, and renewed focus on the pedestrian experience throughout all of the city’s five boroughs, most notably at the center of Manhattan’s Times Square. The 180-degree turn for the Department of Transportation took effect because of a change of leadership. Although the city was ripe for pedestrian and bicycle improvements for many years, the significant changes took place only after a few visionary leaders were given the authority to turn the ship around.
In cities throughout the U.S., leaders are realizing that quality of life and resilient communities depend upon having various transportation options, which in turn has led to the explosion of bike share programs and efforts to consider pedestrians in planning streets and neighborhoods. Asheville is no different: bike lanes are few and sidewalks disappear and reappear throughout the city, but the streets are beginning to change. How can this city more fully awaken to the pedestrian and bicycle renaissance? What are Asheville’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to human-powered transport? What factors are determining whether the city is progressing at a reasonable rate? What can you do to be a part of Asheville’s transportation transformation?
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00pm
Place: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Asheville NC
For more information, visit http://www.transitionasheville. org/events.