RADTIP: The vision for Asheville’s River Arts District

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RADTIP rendering | Image from the City of Asheville

If you’ve visited Asheville’s River Arts District in the past few months, you’ve likely seen big shifts – including literal shifts in traffic, new public art, greenway construction + more. It’s all part of the City of Asheville’s RADTIP (that stands for River Arts District Improvement Project), which is restructuring + revitalizing this historic section of town to make is easier for multi-modal transportation and filled with new areas for recreation. 

It’s been almost four years since RADTIP was first announced (back in December of 2015), and we’re currently at the halfway point of construction. The city has taken extra time and precaution to make sure that the renovation goes smoothly, as it also works to preserve some of the area’s rich history is preserved.  

We’re breaking down RADTIP so you’ll be in the know about it all – from more public art and parks to the plans for protecting area streams and the French Broad River.

Meet RADTIP

  • The project’s main goal is to rebuild Riverside Dr. and Lyman St. up to modern standards. DYK: The first roads in the RAD were built over 100 years ago?
  • Along with this, access and safety for cars, pedestrians + bikers will increase.
  • A two-mile-long stormwater management system and three constructed wetlands will be added to protect the French Broad River.
  • Recreation opportunities like greenways + interactive public art – will be added along the riverfront.
  • There are eventual plans to complete the French Broad River Greenway West and several other greenways, connecting French Broad River Park to the city’s greenway system.
  • Several public art installations, including the now-installed Trash Trout, a sculpted quote from local artist Cleaster Cotton, an interactive community table, a swing, murals + more, are planned for the area. 

Read on to find out more about RADTIP, including $4.6 million they received from the Buncombe County TDA, the impact construction will have on traffic, and the city’s first two-way protected cycle track.

The funding

  • In 2017, the Buncombe County TDA awarded the city an additional $4.6 million to complete the southern section of RADTIP, a one-mile corridor.  
  • Funds were earmarked for roadway improvements, parking, sidewalks, landscaping, tree planting, bicycling facilities + stormwater improvements.
  • Also approved: a two-way protected cycle track to run along Lyman St. – the first of its kind in Asheville.

The status

  • RADTIP is currently halfway complete. The end is in sight projected for the summer of 2020.
  • A new roundabout at Riverside Dr. and Lyman St. opened June 2. 
  • Next up: The Five Points Roundabout. Construction will begin in March and will last around three months. Major traffic impacts and detours are expected. The Five Points Roundabout will replace a current five-way stop at the intersection of several streets in the RAD (Roberts, Clingman, Lyman + Depot). A new storm drain will also be installed.
  • At the halfway mark, $15.6 million has been spent.

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