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#Asked – Future I-26, the Urban Trail + bedroom communities

Asked + Answered. Photo: @wcrealestate

Asked + Answered. Photo: @wcrealestate

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Earlier this month we asked you what you wanted us to cover, and you sent us over 100 questions, comments + ideas.

Last week, we filled you in on fire departments, animal shelters + affordable housing. This week, we’re tackling three more questions from you.

#Asked: Why is I-26 still called “Future I-26”?

#Answered: Only one 12-mile segment of I-26, from Forks of Ivy (exit 13) to Broadway St. in Asheville (exit 25, near the I-240 interchange), is called Future I-26, because it doesn’t currently meet all required Interstate Highway standards (more info on those here).

Improvements proposed for compliance include addressing traffic congestion, which is expected to increase by ⅓ to ½ by 2040, bridge and pavement work + potentially adding lanes to the current 4 to create 6 or 8. 🚗 Currently, the project is in the public feedback stage. The legal process for right of way acquisition is scheduled to begin next year. Want to submit a comment about the project? Fill out this form or call 1-800-233-6315. This section of the road is also referred to as U.S. 19/23.

#Asked: What’s the story behind all of the informative plates on the sidewalks? They’re easy to overlook, but so interesting when you know they are there.

#Answered: Those plates are stops on Asheville’s Urban Trail, a walking tour through downtown that introduces you to historical events + local personalities, including the Vanderbilts and Thomas Wolfe. The trail takes about 2 hours to complete and has 30 stations. Each station is marked with a pink granite plate carved with a symbol that matches one of five eras in Asheville’s history. Plaque #1 is in front of Pack Place on Asheville’s Pack Square, but you can start and finish anywhere. 👣

Get a description of each stop and an audio tour here. Download the map here, or pick up a copy at the Asheville Chamber (36 Montford Ave.) or some local businesses, including Malaprop’s Bookstore + Cafe (55 Haywood St.).

#Asked: Where are great little bedroom communities outside of Asheville that people may want to consider, and why? Communities with cheaper homes and land taxes, but also community events in that town? Why are these areas up and coming and worth looking into?

#Answered: We’re planning a closer look at a few of these, but here are some on our radar. The criteria: 30 minutes or less from Asheville + a cheaper median home price than Asheville’s $259,600 (data from Zillow).

North of Asheville:

Woodfin |📍Buncombe Co. | 🕑 5 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $221,700 | Growing community near the River Arts District and Weaverville, with several spots for French Broad access. Its first brewery, Zillicoah, recently opened.

Barnardsville |📍Buncombe Co. | 🕑 25 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $232,200 | Next to the Big Ivy wilderness area in Pisgah National Forest. Also the home of Navitat Canopy Adventures + Smiling Hara Tempeh

Mars Hill |📍Madison Co. | 🕑 25 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $256,500 | Home of Mars Hill University + site of the autumn arts + music Heritage Festival

Marshall |📍Madison Co. | 🕑 30 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $187,100 | Eclectic community on the French Broad River in the heart of Appalachian Trail Country

South of Asheville

Fletcher |📍Henderson Co. | 🕑 25 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $250,200 | Close to both Hendersonville + Asheville; home of Smiley’s, the largest flea market in the Carolinas

Mills River |📍Henderson Co. | 🕑 25 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $235,400 | Home of Sierra Nevada Brewery + Bold Rock Cider, river + biking trails nearby

Hendersonville |📍Henderson Co. | 🕑 30 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $217,500 | Culture, arts + world-class food; near Greenville, SC, Brevard + the waterfalls of Transylvania County

East of Asheville

Swannanoa |📍Buncombe Co. | 🕑 15 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $215,700 | Rolling hills + the Swannanoa River characterize this tranquil community.

Black Mountain |📍Buncombe Co. | 🕑 20 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $252,700 | History-filled, bustling mountain town

West of Asheville

Enka/Candler |📍Buncombe Co. | 🕑 15 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $217,600 | Easy access to trails + the Parkway

Leicester |📍Buncombe Co. | 🕑 20 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $229,300 | Quiet farmland and lots of nature

Canton |📍Haywood Co. | 🕑 25 minutes from downtown | 🏠 Median home price: $139,000 | A thriving historic mill town on the banks of the Pigeon River

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