In April of 2018, twenty-nine business owners from Cherry Street and W. State Street provided a petition to the Town to make Cherry Street one-way going southbound. The petition prompted a further conversation about parking and circulation downtown and in November of 2018, the Town was awarded a sub-grant through the Land-of-Sky Regional Council to do a downtown parking and circulation study. In May of 2019, the Town contracted with TPD (Traffic Planning and Design, Inc.) to conduct a downtown parking and circulation study and to look at the feasibility of making Cherry Street one-way. The Town created a Steering Committee consisting of the consultants, town staff, one alderman, two planning board members, one downtown business owner, and one citizen.
Data provided showed that Cherry Street going one-way southbound was not a safe option and that Cherry Street going northbound was the safer option. The following talking points discuss Cherry Street:
Speeds northbound will be slower than speeds southbound because of going uphill (traffic calming).
Allows for trucks to stop and make deliveries along Cherry Street without blocking traffic.
Reduces congestion on State Street (no left turns from State Street onto Cherry Street that blocks traffic into the State Street/Montreat Road intersection.
Able to reduce pedestrian crossing distance with bulb-outs for pedestrians crossing Cherry Street at State Street.
The volume difference between northbound and southbound existing is negligible as the volumes are very low hourly. Most traffic on Cherry Street is only looking for parking on Cherry Street (we did not base the decision on how many travel north vs. south).