Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October: Successful Open Streets "Paves the Way" for Increasing Community Awareness & Support for Active Transportation and Public Space

Our first Open Streets Asheville event on Sunday, September 18th was a great start as a strategy to promote health, build community and begin changing the way we view our stre
ets.  OSA drew approximately 1500 people of all ages and abilities with dancing, play, art and a rediscovery of downtown Asheville.  Over 50 community organizations and businesses took part with many more businesses along the route benefiting from the extra foot and bicycle traffic.  We learned a great deal from the event and are still processing.  The planning team has met to debrief and we will be meeting with the City staff involved on October 10th.  Surveys will be going out to participating organizations and businesses shortly and a thank-you and final input session will be held in the next 6 weeks.

Special thanks to the planning team which included Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, Land of Sky Regional Council, Liberty Bicycles, NC Active Routes to School, UNC-Asheville, Asheville on Bikes, and Altamont Environmental. In addition to planning team organizations, sponsors included: Go Mountain Commuting (the regional Transportation Demand program at Land of Sky), Suzanne Molloy, Cake Websites and More, LLC and Motion Makers Bicycles.

For more photos of the event visit:

A special ask this month and encouraging support for the Asheville Bond.  Visit the Engage page on the main CHIP blog.  

And a trivia question.... when and where was this photograph being used to promote the bond referendum taken?  I'll buy a cup of coffee for the first person to email me with the correct answer!

Look for a meeting doodle and information about our next meeting to come out next week.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

September Update

Workgroup members continued to prepare for Open Streets Asheville on September 18th. An ad hoc group met to develop strategies for researching and testing messages to support the short term action step to develop a communication plan with the goal of increasing awareness of the benefits of action transportation and developing community support for multimodal infrastructure and policies.

Monday, August 29, 2016

August Update

Our workgroup met on June 23rd to further clarify results and indicators that will guide our work and develop more specificity and focus around strategies to pursue. It was a productive, but challenging meeting in that we lost power and continued the work by the light of cell phones! All of our dedicated group stayed until the power returned and we were able to complete the work we started this spring.

Below is a brief overview of where we landed.  And if you are just doing a quick read through of this update, make sure you read the action steps under What Happens Now and respond to the doodle poll.

Our scorecard has been updated to include our work, but below are a few highlights.  Note the link above is a sneak preview and not fully public yet (but should be in the next month or so).  

What happens Now?
Activity during July has focused primarily on moving the September 18th Open Streets Asheville event forward with finalization of route, recruitment of event partners and sponsors. This event provides opportunities for us to explore perceptions, concerns, and support of transportation and greenways.  It also, as is found in our initial action steps, an opportunity to test messages.  
Given September 18th is quickly approaching, we need to reconvene and develop a plan for how to best utilize this event as well as to begin developing some key messages to test.  
Please take just a moment to use this Doodle link to let me know your availability for each of 4 times on August 26th or August 29.
In the meantime, here are a few action steps to help you prepare:
  • Spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with our Open Streets Asheville event (if you are not already actively engaged in it). Visit 

  • Like or Follow Open Streets Asheville on Facebook or @OpenStreetsAVL on twitter and begin promoting the event.  We need lots of participants for our communications research to be effective.

  • Find some time to review the following documents.  One will just refresh your memory about the links between physical activity, obesity and transportation.  The second is about transportation and equity.  The 3rd is a document on framing active transportation for the public, press and policymakers.